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Militants Close Women’s Groups in Kenya

The Somali militant group Al-Shabaab reportedly forced the closure of three grassroots women’s organizations Monday in the Kenyan town of Balad Hawa to prevent women from going to work. Their leader stated that they also plan to force five additional unspecified non-governmental organizations, according to Reuters.

Chairman of Balad Hawa, Maalim Daaud Mohmed, told Reuters “We have taken this step after we recognized that women need to stay in their homes and take care of their children…Islam does not allow women to go to offices.” The organizations that were closed are the Sed Huro Human Rights Organization, Farhan Woman for Peace, and the Halgan Businesswomen’s Organization.

This is not the first time Al-Shabaab has attacked women’s rights in the region. Last week, Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia rounded up and beat women who weren’t wearing veils or socks. Last month they flogged women who were wearing bras and then forced the women to remove their bras and “shake their breasts.” Additionally, Al-Shabaab has reportedly banned dancing at weddings, musical ring tones, movies, and playing or watching soccer, according to the New York Post.

Sources:

Reuters 11/2/09; New York Post 11/3/09; Feminist News Wire 10/30/09

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