On International Women’s Day, UN Applauds Contribution of Somali Women and Encourages Greater Participation
Mogadishu – On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the United Nations in Somalia applauded the role of Somali women in their country’s progress while also encouraging greater efforts to ensure their participation in all spheres of Somali society.
"Somali women have made important contributions as Somalia rebuilds and continues on its path to peace and stability," said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan. “They have demonstrated tremendous courage, strength and dedication in the face of many challenges, including protracted conflict, lack of security, natural disaster and political instability."
"Unfortunately, the security discourse around women too often labels them as victims, and rarely as active agents who are vital to improving the security situation for themselves and others. That must change," he added.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is 'I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights.' Ahead of Somalia’s forthcoming ‘one person, one vote’ elections, the United Nations in Somalia urges all Somali stakeholders, particularly the political leadership, to support women’s representation in politics and decision-making, and to guarantee that equality becomes a living reality for all Somalis, regardless of their gender. In this regard, the United Nations strongly supports the minimum 30 per cent women’s quota for representation in parliament.
The United Nations also encourages renewed attention by national leaders to the draft Sexual Offences Bill and Female Genital Mutilation Bill, as cornerstones for the protection of women’s rights in Somalia.
"Women’s equal rights, opportunities and participation are vital ingredients in realizing the Somali national development agenda," Mr. Swan said. "Only collective action by all, including people in power can make it happen."