International Women’s Day celebrated in regional capitals across Somalia
International Women’s Day was observed in Somalia’s regional capitals today as the world paid tribute to women and the role they play in society.
In Jubbaland state, festivities were held in the port city of Kismaayo and attended by hundreds of people.
Residents of Kismaayo marched through the city’s streets in solidarity with women until they arrived at the venue for the ceremony, which featured speeches and the performance of song and dance.
Jubbaland’s Second Deputy President Abdulkadir Haji Mohamud-Luga Dhere commended women for playing a critical role in the formation of the state.
Invited guests included Jubbaland Minister of Gender, Family Affairs and Human Rights Qamar Dek Khalif and Mr. Benjamin Jonah, the head of the Kismaayo office of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).
“Women have a right to live freely in a dignified manner, enjoy their rights and exercise their freedom. Equal rights is vital for peace, progress and development,” Minister Khalif said in her remarks.
The head of the UNSOM office in Kismaayo lauded the close working relationship between the UN and the Jubbaland ministry of gender and human rights.
“We are also doing a lot of advocacy for women empowerment and also working in that respect through the ministry of gender and human rights. It is not only UNSOM that is involved in this, but the wider range of UN agencies in Jubbaland,” Mr. Jonah explained.
Similar celebrations were held in Belet Weyne, the administrative capital of Hiiraan region.
Leaders at the event made a passionate plea for humanitarian aid to benefit residents affected by drought. Hiiraan region is among the areas hardest hit by the failed rains that have triggered a mass migration of rural communities from their villages to internally displaced camps in the administrative capital.
"I am appealing to women around the world to come together and support each other. Let us sponsor poor children in school. I urge women to support their underprivileged sisters affected by drought. We can each contribute a dollar, which is not much to us, but to them it can make a big difference,” Ms. Farhaan Omar Arte, the chairperson of the Hiiraan Women’s Organization said.
The Deputy Governor of the Hiiraan region Ahmad Osman Abdi and the administrator of Hiiraan Women’s Organisation, Kowsar Abdi Osman, also attended the celebrations.
In South West state, the day was commemorated in the administrative capital Baidoa.
Interim South West Administration President Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan and the Deputy Minister of Women, Human Rights and Family Affairs Binti Ibrahim Ali led residents in marking this important day in the global calendar.
International Women’s Day is observed annually, across the world on March 8, to recognise progress made towards enhancing the status of women.
First observed in 1909, the day also underscores acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an exemplary role in the history of their countries and communities.