The month of August is dedicated to praying for Somali women while the entire year of 2008 is dedicated to praying for Somalia.
There is some good information at the YOPS site. Somalia is one of many developing countries that still practices Female Genital Mutilation. In addition to the FGM, Somalia is a traditional Muslim country. With that tends comes a lot of oppression towards women.
It is interesting as I wander around Minneapolis to see the disparities within Somali women. Some are loan officers or other non-CSR positions at local banks (obviously a position of power). While others stay at home, in a more traditional role. Maybe to clarify - there is so much diversity within the Somali culture that it is impossible to stereotype anyone in a traditional culture. It does seem that the longer the family has been here the less strict they are with some of the little nuances - such as a woman shaking a man's hand.
It is fun to interact with these neighbors and to learn about their lives. As a man I am careful to navigate the traditional roles and boundaries but also be open and approachable so that individuals can see that I don't agree with some of those roles.
The prayer request is:
Please ask your compassionate Father to give you His compassion for Somali women.