Somalia has passed a law against rape for the first time. In the past, the victim could be forced to marry the rapist and the families would support such a resolution to hide the shame attached to rape.

With the new law, rapists now stand to face at least 30 years in prison. Somaliland’s speaker of parliament, Bashe Mohamed Farah, told the BBC that rape cases have risen and he hoped the new law would help stop that trend.

“Nowadays we have seen even people carrying out gang rapes. The main emphasis of the new act is to completely stop rape” he said.

The new law has come in after years of lobbying by children and women’s rights advocates. Faisa Ali Yusuf of the Women’s Agenda Forum said they’ve been waiting for such legislation for a very long time.

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