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Table 1 Somali people in the Netherlands

From: “A Somali girl is Muslim and does not have premarital sex. Is vaccination really necessary?” A qualitative study into the perceptions of Somali women in the Netherlands about the prevention of cervical cancer

The Somali community in the Netherlands is comprised of over 34,000 people [42]. The first group of refugees, particularly higher educated individuals, fled to the Netherlands after the Somali civil war broke out in 1990 [9, 43]. The second group of refugees, mainly lower educated individuals, fled to the Netherlands after 2006 [9, 44].

In Somalia, female genital mutilation (FGM) is common practice [45], next to male circumcision [46]. Somali women’s lives in the diaspora are not only influenced by their traumatic experiences because of war and FGM, but also by their migration history, which has led to social and legal barriers such as a devalued refugee identity, unemployment, social isolation, thwarted aspirations, and changing gender roles. These factors have been linked to a prevalence of mental and physical problems [10, 47, 48].

In the Netherlands, a variety of Somali foundations and associations provide support for social integration [44]. Most information is communicated orally because of the prevalent oral culture within the Somali community [41].