International Women's Day celebrated across Somalia

9 Mar 2015

International Women's Day celebrated across Somalia

Somali women from across the nation joined hands with the global community to mark this years' International Women's Day celebrations with song, dance and grandeur.

Major celebrations were held in Kismayo in the Juba region, Baidoa in the Bay region and Garowe in Puntland. The day's celebration were held in line with the International theme, "Make it Happen", reflecting the crucial role played by the women and girls in the rebuilding Somalia, as it recovers from years of conflict.

In the port city of Kismayo, hundreds of men and women marched through the town's major streets in song and dance, chanting calls for the empowerment of Somalia's women. They gathered at the Farjana village grounds where the leadership of the Interim Juba Administration pledged its commitment towards addressing the issues that affect women in the region.

Speaking during the celebrations, the Minister of Women Affairs for the Interim Juba Authority (IJA) H.E. Qamar Khalif Haji Sheikh called for the cooperation of all Somalis, especially those in the diaspora in addressing the plight of the Somali woman.

She observed that the Somali women have been major victims of the two decade war, suffering major challenges ranging from high levels of illiteracy, poverty, lack of access to basic health care and resultant effects such as the high maternal mortality rate, sexual exploitation and abuse and lack of effective representation in the country's rebuilding processes, among others.

"Women are the backbone of the Somali society, the Somali women should be empowered at every level. Our women need the support of the international community. Somalia is being protected by women today, we feel secure," she said.

In Baidoa, the celebrations were led by the Interim South West Administration (ISWA) H.E. President Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan, with his Administration's Minister for Human Rights, H.E. Fatuma Omar Abuu.

The ISWA Administration pledged to further incorporate women in all its activities and address the issues that affect them.

"I congratulate Somali women wherever they are on this auspicious day. I congratulate all women in the world, I congratulate Somali women, especially the women of this region. I wish you long life, good health and peace. I wish you progress throughout this year," he said.

H.E. Fatuma Omar Abuu, the ISWA Minister of Women, Human Rights and Family affairs echoed the importance of women as agents of peace in society.

"As a representative of women at the Ministry of Women, Human rights and Family affairs, I will do all I can to promote peace and reconciliation. If there is no peace, there is no life. We cannot do anything without peace. Our main priority and target will be to bring peace," she said.

The Federal Government of Somalia indicated it will continue working with women and ensure that they are fully represented in all political, constitutional and peace building processes across the country.