MOGADISHU, (Xinhua) --
Somali women wrapped up a peace forum in
Mogadishu on Thursday evening by resolving to embrace peace,
reconciliation and prevent violent extremism.
Women’s Peace Forum which brought together hundreds of women
from Galmudug, Puntland, South West, Jubbaland and HirShabelle
states and Benadir region, saw participants recommit to advance
peace efforts and defeat extremist elements in the Horn of
“Women really want
to have peace; and to have reconciliation is also very
important. As women, when it comes to reconciliation, we are not
in there,” said Fartun Abdisalam Adan, Director of Elman Peace
and Human Rights Foundation, according to a statement issued by
the UN mission in Somalia (UNSOM).
the importance of women taking a front seat in reconciliation
efforts in the Horn of African nation.
“When it comes to
reconciliation, women might just talk, but we are never
involved. This is certainly a new beginning for Somali women to
really be part of the reconciliation and to actually have peace
in Somalia,” she said.
The forum is a
culmination of four months of national consultations to
determine ways and strategies to enhance women’s role in peace,
reconciliation and the prevention of violent extremism
consistent with the national prevention and countering violent
extremism (PCVE) strategy and national reconciliation framework.
During the forum,
the women discussed ways of preventing and countering violent
extremism, women’s role in it, and strategies that would enhance
women’s participation in peace, security and reconciliation
Peter de Clercq,
deputy special representative of the UN Secretary-General for
Somalia and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator who closed the
forum stressed the vital role of Somali women in securing and
maintaining sustained peace in Somalia. He stressed however,
that their role in making peace often goes unrecognized.
De Clercq said the
Somali women play a key role in supporting their families and
communities and keeping the society together during conflict.
“However, women are
often excluded from the formal peace processes; their role in
peacebuilding, as peace-makers and agents of change is not fully
recognized, hence the importance of this Forum as a step toward
ensuring women have a place at the table,” he added.
He also reiterated
that the United Nations will continue to support initiatives of
women to materialize the commitments and decisions of this
underscored the important role women play in the prevention,
mediation and resolution of conflicts.
African women judicial
actors vow to curb gender-based violence
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
African women justice actors have inked a
commitment to stepping up efforts to combat gender-based
violence (GBV) in the continent.
associations of women judges, magistrates and prosecutors also
resolved to establish the International Association of Women
Judges-Africa Region Forum to eliminate sexual and gender-based
In a joint statement
issued on Sunday following a two-day conference that ended in
Nairobi on Saturday evening, the judicial actors resolved to
ensure that women judges and national associations undertake to
carry out sustained advocacy to curb sexual and gender-based
violence within their jurisdictions.
observed that GBV was prevalent in the region despite a raft of
legislation and policy frameworks to address the problem,” it
“They said that GBV
was rampant due to weak enforcement mechanisms, lack of
awareness, culture, poverty and gender discrimination and called
for strategies that transcend legal and policy intervention,”
the statement said.
brought together delegates from Kenya, Liberia, Uganda,
Tanzania, South Sudan, Somalia and Zambia.
During the two-day
conference, the judicial officials shared experiences from their
various regions on the investigation, prosecution and
adjudication of GBV cases.
The forum provided
an opportunity for participants to engage and share experiences
and good practices in handling GBV cases in the region with the
ultimate aim of combating systemic impunity toward GBV.
conference, Kenyan Chief Justice David Maraga said despite the
strict and punitive legislation, the challenge of GBV still
persists in Kenya.
Maraga noted that
currently a majority of GBV offenses go unreported in part
because of a non-conducive justice system or heavy stigma and
harmful norms and attitudes that lead to silence of their