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Somali Rebels Crack Down on Women

Somali rebels closed three grassroots women’s organizations Monday in the rebel-held town of Balad Hawa, saying women shouldn’t go to work. The hardline al Shabaab insurgents want to impose Islamic law on the areas it controls. "We have taken this step after we recognized that women need to stay in their homes and take care of their children... Islam does not allow women to go to offices," said the chairman of Balad Hawa. Balad Hawa is on the border between Kenya and Somalia. The Halgan Businesswoman’s Organization, the Sed Huro Human Rights Organization, and Farhan Woman for Peace were all shut down by the insurgents. Ringtones, movies, dancing, and soccer have also been banned by the group. The rebel leader said five more NGOs would quickly be shut down.