Somali Gender Equity Movement (SGEM) Board of Directors, members, Somali women leaders and women across sectors, the civil society, and the Somali public in general are alarmed and shaken by the outbreak of violence in Mogadishu and Benadir region that had caused some casualties and internal displacement of women and children on April 25-27, 2021.
In this backdrop, SGEM, a movement that advocates for Somali women’s socio-economic and political rights and representation in the public decision-making arena and promotes genuine reconciliation and conflict resolution in Somalia convened a virtual forum entitled Somali Women’s Voices on April 28, 2021 for Somali women leaders, and women across sectors to discuss the situation and come up with relevant position statements and recommendations.
The April 28th session hereby referred to as the Forum had speakers and participants from both inside the country and across the globe. The panel speakers and participants included well known iconic women leaders, politicians, intellectuals, and representatives from different sectors of the society.
The Forum agreed upon the following position statements and recommendations:
- The Forum condemns the use of violence by all parties under any circumstances that have caused instability and displacement of women, children, people with disability and other vulnerable citizens;
- The Forum welcomed the statements by Galmudug, Hirshabelle, and South West Federal Member States (FMSs), and the Prime Minister that supported the continuation of the electoral process to be based on the September 17, 2020 electoral model;
- Somali women will not be bystanders on the recent politically motivates violence and the current electoral impasse, and will take active role in brokering peace and reconciling the National Consultative Council (NCC) in collaboration with neutral leaders from civil society, religious leaders, and respected traditional elders;
- Somali women call for the removal of all armed forces belonging to the government and opposition sides from residential areas, so families can return and stay in their homes without fear of violence and intimidation;
- The leaders of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and FMSs need to come together to end the political gridlock, show compassion in the spirit of Ramadan for their citizens and country, resolve their personal and political differences, and stop the polarizing rhetoric;
- The Forum recognizes the urgent need for collective communal healing and social repair in Somalia;
- The Forum calls on the leaders to proactively continue the dialogue until all the contentious issues on the implementation of the September 17th electoral modal are resolved;
- The Forum recommends consensus based, inclusive, and fair election that leads to a peaceful transfer of power;
- The Forum realizes that political commitment is essential to ensuring the agreed upon minimum 30% quota for women by readopting the 2016 electoral mechanism which safeguarded the women’s quota.
- The Forum acknowledges the need for massive civic education on peaceful coexistence using traditional and social media;
- The Forum urges journalists and social media users to refrain from igniting conflict and misinforming the public