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Updated On: Wednesday, 22 August 2018
Development Issues

Somali Women’s Peace Forum

Content by: South-South News

6 August 2018, New York, USA | South-South News — In specially-convened consultations in cities around Somalia recently, Somali women gathered to discuss enhancing their role in the country’s peace and reconciliation process and to strengthen the fight against violent extremism which is impacting ongoing peace efforts.

Madino Mohamed, the deputy chairperson of the Somali National Women’s Organization (SNWO), said at the meeting held in the southern city of Kismayo, the administrative capital of Jubbaland, “Our aim is to encourage the women to pass what they learnt here to their families, their villages, their districts and divisions; and educate them on the effects of violent extremism so as to achieve total peace in the country,”

The SWNO was the main organizer of the two-day nationwide ‘peace forums’ on enhanced women’s roles in peace efforts, held simultaneously in the five administrative capitals of the Federal Member States of South West, Jubbaland, Puntland, HirShabelle and Galmudug states. The main purpose of the forums was to consult wide-range of women stakeholders – peace advocates, activists and practitioners – to determine ways and strategies to improve women’s role in promoting peace and prevent violent extremism in the country.

Participants across the five states discussed women’s empowerment and strategies that would enhance their participation in peace, security and reconciliation efforts. They also deliberated on ways to help preventing and countering violent extremism, in order to complement government efforts to de-radicalize youth.

The longer-term aim of the consultations is to enhance women’s roles in peace and reconciliation processes, in line with the national priorities set out in the country’s National Development Plan for 2017-2021, and in the national reconciliation processes launched by the Federal Government of Somalia.

In Kismayo, Badran Muhumed Abdulle, the chairperson of the Jubbaland Women’s Organization, said the forum had given women the impetus to actively participate in reconciliation and peace-building activities.

In Garowe, Puntland state’s administrative capital, the forum was officially opened by Puntland’s Vice President Abdihakim Haji Omar “Amey,” who pledged government support for women’s empowerment and greater roles in peace-building initiatives.

At the gathering in Baidoa, the capital of South West State, one of the facilitators, Udbi Omar Ali, highlighted that women were unanimous in wanting to play a more visible role in fighting violent extremism.

She said, "We had main points that we all agreed upon and the most important one is that we should unite, all of us, against extremist ideologies; and that women should really pay attention to all activities happening in their households, to prevent their children to be sucked into the wrong ideas.”

Resolutions made at the gatherings – which were supported by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) – will inform deliberations at a national Women’s Peace Forum, scheduled to take place in the capital Mogadishu, later this year.

In 2000, the world body recognized the vital role that women can play in peace and security with the UN Security Council’s adoption of Security Council resolution 1325, which reaffirmed the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction.

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