Somaliland: Women’s role in Peace-building and Conflict Resolution

 

Hargeysa (SLpost)- Women in Somaliland play critical roles in peacebuilding and conflict resolution, but these roles are not well recognised or understood, and women are systemically excluded from more formal roles in peacebuilding and conflict resolution, reveals a new study by NAGAAD Network.

Based on a survey of over 400 women and men, plus extensive key informant interviews and focus group discussions, the report found that women play a significant role in peacebuilding and conflict resolution processes, but often behind the scenes. Moreover, women play vital roles for mobilising people and resources and assembling large groups and rallies for the sake of peace.

In response to the findings, Asmahaan, the Chairperson of NAGAAD, said: “Women are the backbone of society, and they play a significant role in peacebuilding and coexistence. In Somaliland, women effectively participated in reconciliation and peace dialogues that resulted in the peace that we’re all enjoying today. Yet their role is not formally recognised.  It is imperative to give them space and encourage them to participate in formal and informal peacebuilding and conflict resolution processes.”

The study found that more educated women are more likely to take part in peacebuilding processes, while some women are employed in the courts. However, women are still not formally allowed to take part in official conflict resolution discussions, which are dominated by male clan leaders particularly.

“Now, women are ready; they’re educated and have the capacity to solve these issues. As we are now facing an election period, it is crucial that government support and guarantee women’s political leadership,” Asmahaan added.

To advance women’s participation in peacebuilding and conflict resolution it is essential that:

  • Government, civil society organisations (CSOs) and other related stakeholders develop strategic approaches and targeted interventions to enhance women’s participation in peacebuilding and conflict resolutions.
  • Economic empowerment of women is addressed as a precursor to broader women’s engagement in peacebuilding and conflict resolution, as it will help to overcome financial constraints to participation.
  • Leadership and governance not be separated from the involvement of women in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. A formal working system must be engraved in the law to enable women to be engaged in formal peace discussions.

 

Further Information and Enquiries: Report available here:
NAGAAD: nafisa.yusuf@nagaad.org (252) 634427496