Somali men are suffering from high rates of drug addiction, divorce and mental illness, according to a World Bank-funded study.
The study is based on interviews with 400 men and 90 women living in Somalia and neighbouring Kenya. It found that many Somali men are traumatized, depressed and physically disabled. Many are also addicted to khat, an amphetamine-like drug.
In Somali culture, men are expected to provide all household needs. But since the 1991 coup which overthrew President Siad Barre, many women have taken on that role.
Researchers are urging donors to do more to support men and strengthen families. The report says: “Men find themselves dispensable, with no meaningful role and no stake in the future. Men of all ages and backgrounds commonly … experienced some form of mental breakdown.”
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Photo credit: REUTERS/Feisal Omar