Wednesday, July 30, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Female soldiers join the army ranks in Somalia

By
From page A10 | May 29, 2014 |

MOGADISHU, Somalia — With an AK47 automatic rifle slung over her shoulder, Naeemo Abdi frisks people coming into a Mogadishu police station.

When she holds back a man who tried to enter unchecked, he scowls at her and barks: “Woman and soldier?”

She did not respond but directed the man to the security checkpoint.

It’s unusual to see a female in the military in traditionally conservative Somali society where women’s duties are generally at home and limited to family chores. But Abdi and other determined women are breaking down those barriers. About 1,500 females are now in the military of 20,000, according to estimates.

The lean 25-year-old Abdi explains that she has endured many challenges joining the army two years ago. She moved from a conventional domestic role as a wife and mother of three to work in the army because she liked the prestige. She said she faced massive opposition from her spouse and family who thought she’d be cast off should she decide to become a soldier.

“It was difficult, but I must do this to serve my country unreservedly,” she said.

Her work as a soldier receives mixed reactions from her fellow Somalis. A few approve, but many think women should not be in the military.

“Gender is not boundary,” said Abdi, tightening her bootlaces. “If committed, women can work far better than men.”

At work they often wear camouflage trouser uniforms, boots and bright blue or purple headscarves topped by a beret with the military’s insignia. At other times they wear long skirts to observe Islamic dress codes. They also often carry heavy backpacks.

Somali army officials report female army recruits have increased following the ouster from the capital in 2011 of the Islamic extremist rebels of al-Shabab. Order is slowly being restored in Somalia following more than 20 years of chaos and violence. Somalia’s state largely collapsed after a dictator was overthrown in 1991 and the country was run by feuding clans and more recently by Islamic militants. With support from the U.N. and the African Union, Somali forces pushed the extremists of al-Shabab out of the capital.

The army now controls Mogadishu, the sprawling seaside capital that has a population estimated at up to 3 million, most other cities and large parts of the countryside.

However the militants are still a danger, killing government employees, including soldiers. For protection, the women in the Somali army hide their identities out of the workplace by covering their faces and bodies with hijabs.

To further protect her security after finishing her shift, Sadiya Nur, another woman soldier, takes a circuitous route home to avoid being followed by possible extremists. Inside the bus, she chooses a back seat to avoid getting ambushed by assassins.

“My senses tell me to be suspicious because they don’t want to see me helping me my country,” said Nur, a soft-spoken but resolute 28-year-old. “My husband, family and everyone wanted me to stay at home! It didn’t work for me.”

Other female soldiers say their dedication to the army cost them their marriage and some family relations.

In spite of their progress, women complain of discrimination and inequality in the army, saying they are restricted to menial jobs.

“The only problem is women get relegated, and don’t get promoted to higher roles,” said female soldier Shukri Hassan.

For female soldiers, the rigid backbreaking military training was their main obstacle, and forced many to give up.

“Some of them could barely run for a mile, others cried and gave up,” said Capt. Mohamed Hussein, a senior Somali police officer who supervised training for the female recruits.

Officials say some female trainees want to serve as combat soldiers battling the al-Qaida-linked militants in Somalia — but most of them are deployed at police stations to help provide security.

“Getting senior female officers would inspire more women to join the army,” said Halimo Maalin, a female soldier.

Nevertheless, the new female army recruits take pleasure in their gains so far.

“We hope equality in our army will make a better impression in our community,” said Abdi, the soldier working at a police station. “We want to show that we can serve for good in our country.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Solano County Fair set to open Wednesday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Marketing study looks at Berryessa resorts

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Activity is Medicine program coming to Suisun senior center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Library teens plan summer reading party

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield tries to end Cordelia Road detour

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 15 Comments | Gallery

Caltrans makes I-80 lane change

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
Police arrest suspected intruder

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 6 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Big-rig crash shuts down freeway onramp

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Big-rig driver strikes telephone lines in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ primed for big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Icon sends first A5 into the skies on maiden flight

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B7

Fairfield police log: July 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: July 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: July 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: June 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Weather for Wedneday, July 30, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B14

 
.

US / World

Hamas demands for cease-fire and Israel’s concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Fist bumps less germy than handshakes, study says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
New California fines for wasting water take effect

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

California lifeguard injured by lightning improves

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
PG&E charged with obstruction over San Bruno blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Chevron California refinery overhaul up for vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
4 charged with murder in death of USC student

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Crews make gains on 2 California wildfires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Tuberculosis patient who refused care is arrested

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Last crew member of Enola Gay dies in Georgia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Poll: Immigration concerns rise with tide of kids

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Shelling adds to mounting civilian toll in Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Generation of tanners see spike in deadly melanoma

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
Senate confirms McDonald as VA secretary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

Body of young stowaway found in US cargo plane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Report: Health premiums rose significantly in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 4 Comments

Highway, bridge money at risk: Senate to vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Senate bill would end NSA phone records collection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Liberians in US worry about Ebola outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Top doctor dies from Ebola after treating dozens

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

.

Opinion

Red light camera fate now uncertain in state

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

 
Obscure state agency creates big money problems

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11

Some people have missed the drought memo

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 17 Comments

 
What kids don’t know would shock you

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 38 Comments

 
Cemetery support committee thanks sponsors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History for July 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

What to do when ‘it’ hits the fan

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes for July 30, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

I like Liam, but I think he’s interested in another girl

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
A do-ahead dinner to make back-to-school smoother

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

You too can bake artisanal quality bread at home

By Elizabeth Karmel | From Page: B6

 
A healthy afterschool snack that eats like a treat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Entertainment

Sarah Palin launches online subscription channel

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
‘Sharknado’ sequel has bite and lots of laughs

By Frazier Moore | From Page: A7 | Gallery

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Music aside, Queen of Soul is pumped for fair food

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Fairfield Indians blank Next Level Athletic to win SRL tournament title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

49ers WR Brandon Lloyd enjoying return to NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Schaub settles in as Raiders starting QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
49ers sign former Cardinals RB Alfonso Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Vin Scully to return for 66th season in LA in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Mudcats tie Vacaville Admirals

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

No joke: Kings’ Cousins hopes for Team USA shot

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Liriano fans 11 in Pirates’ 3-1 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Athletics rally for 6 runs in 9th, beat Astros 7-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Husband arrested in death of NBA player’s aunt

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Triple-A brawl results in 11 suspensions

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Broken water main floods UCLA; 5 people rescued

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

 
This date in sports history for Wednesday, July 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
McDonald’s could be liable for labor practices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Food writers subpoenaed in ‘pink slime’ lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Stocks end lower ahead of economic data

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Twitter 2Q results soar, stock flies high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Obituaries

Patricia Jo McDonald

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jack L Hudack

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Robert Dale Myers Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jeanetta M. Hale

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5