(Medeshi)- RW - In Somalia, politics and peace-making have remained exclusively male domains despite the crucial role that women play in society. Over the years, women have been consistently excluded from key discussions and have had little or no say in the creation of a new vision of Somali society.
Since 2005 the Ministry of Women Development and Family Affairs (MOWDAFA) has been working to ensure that there is a more inclusive environment in which women can participate in conflict resolution and peace building processes.
However, the ministry still lacks sufficient capacity to ensure that their gender strategy is implemented and fully monitored. Asha, the deputy minister for MOWDAFA, emphasizes the need for the ministry to strengthen its role of disseminating information to women in remote areas in order to help make their voices count. With support from Adeso, MOWDAFA has so far conducted assessments in 14 districts and consequently established 14 women associations. “These associations provide us with a safe platform in which we can talk”, says Asha. “We are able to network and discuss openly the economic and political constrains that we are currently facing.”
Asha believes that as Adeso continues to implement capacity building activities in the region, women from different walks of life will be engaged in their own peace and reconstruction efforts.
The Promoting Women’s Political Participation for Development of Peace and Security in Puntland initiative (PROWOPP) was started by Adeso in September 2012 with funding from the European Union. The two year initiative is expected to provide consistent capacity development through technical support, institutional capacity building, and training on various thematic areas, including: policy and advocacy; conflict resolution; and monitoring and evaluation.