Thursday, June 23, 2011


Somali women in the US
Somali women in the US have worked hard to break the stereotypes and cultural norms by working to support their families.  For many of these women, owning their own businesses gives them the financial independence they did not have in their home country. In Somalia, men are the breadwinners particularly in the Muslim households, while the women keep house and take care of the children.

The roles change once these families come to the United States and the women set up shop bringing home paychecks.

Many of these families have migrated to the US to escape the civil war in Somalia. The American Community Survey estimated a little over 100,000 Somalis lived in the US in 2009. Almost 30,000 living in Minnesota, although other sources suggest as high as 60,000.

According to the US Census Bureau, the median household income for Somalis is among the lowest, with 51 percent living in poverty. The efforts of Somali women within their communities is changing this statistic. They are not only changing the cultural dynamics of the Somali home but they are also contributing to the community at large, highlighting the importance of the role of women in society.

Male reaction/response to these changes are varied. Some have accepted and are assisting the women in their business enterprises. Others have been unable to adapt bringing on the foreign concept of separation and divorce.

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