Ensure that women in Somaliland break the cycle of exclusion, access to justice, control and own productive resources.
Program Focus Area
Promote women’s rights to information, representation, productive resources, and access to justice.
Key Change Promises
The focus will be a multi-pronged approach to address the existing power imbalance and the socio- economic and political inequalities in Somaliland. Women will access information through mobilization and awareness campaigns, solidarity, collective voice, economic alternatives and reduction of sexual and domestic violence to confront the unacceptable inequalities.
- By 2017 we will have empowered 25,000 women through mobilization and awareness creation in women political participation and other decision-making forums.
- By 2017 we will have improved economic alternatives for 10,600 women to create economic, social and political space for them.
The rights of women in Somaliland continue to be violated socially, politically and culturally. Women’s literacy rate stands at 32%. Women and girls are among the poorest, excluded and marginalized segments of the society. They are excluded from participation and decision-making processes at all levels. There are only four women ministers and one female MP in 164 members of the national parliament. In the civil service, women occupy junior positions such as cleaners and secretaries.
Somaliland is a patriarchal society where men exclusively make decisions. Violence against women with cultural insulation is a common practice within the society particularly domestic violence, rape and female genital mutilation. In addition, unfair inheritance practices deny women access and ownership of the land and other family property.
High illiteracy levels, oppressive cultural practices, biased gender roles, unfavourable school facilities, heavy domestic chores and lack of female role models grossly contribute to under presentation in political circles and decision-making structures. Misinterpretation of religion, limited knowledge of their rights, and ineffective policies further contribute to women exclusion.
Operationalizing strategic objective
We recognize that eradication of poverty and injustice will simply not be possible without securing equality and rights for women. Women’s rights and gender equality are vital for poverty eradication. To break the cycle of poverty, exclusion and marginalization of women, we will facilitate access to justice and control and own productive resources, empower vulnerable women to participate in decision–making, by accessing information, and provide economic alternatives.
We will strengthen and mobilize women’s coalitions to promote collective action and a voice for change. The attitudes and behaviours of traditional and religious leaders and policy makers toward violation of women’s rights will be challenged to develop violence against women (VAW) and female genital mutilation (FGM) laws. We will advocate for review of draft family law to protect women and children rights in divorce and domestic violence, and will work with and strengthen women lawyers association to educate women on their rights and represent poor and excluded women in the legal process. AAIS will identify women role models in Somaliland and develop a mentoring system linking these women with girls in secondary and tertiary institutions to have a positive impact on going forward.