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African Proverbs: Where there are no women, there is no home

Where there are no women, there is no home ~Haween la’aani waa hoy la’aan

This is a Somali proverb that shows the key role that women play in Somali society. Often language can be a gateway to understanding how a people group think about particular social structures. It also gives us a DNA-like glimpse of how people’s values and perceptions at any point in points in their history. We can have a snapshot view of how Somali women have been viewed and still are viewed; though it depends on context like most things when we talk about cultures and their history.

We can see through this simple sentence, that to the Somali people where is no woman means no shelter. Therefore, the supporting structures of a society can be interpreted to be the woman, without them there is no means of joy and of course life. However, this can be applied to cultures across the world, the role women play whether they are our mothers, daughters, sisters, partners, colleagues, artists and so much more – they are key to the health of a society if it is to exists in harmony.

what is your favourite proverb and what do you think it teaches us about culture and society?

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