Security council members urge Somalia to take action on women’s safety amidst political instability
Source: Hiiraan Online, Thursday February 23, 2023
“We are deeply alarmed by the increases in sexual and gender-based violence”
Mogadishu (HOL) – Representatives from Malta, Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, France, Gabon, Japan, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom made a bold commitment on Wednesday to prioritize Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) principles.
The ten nations joined forces to put the WPS agenda at the forefront during their terms on the Security Council. This commitment comes as the council met to discuss the dire situation in Somalia, where Al-Shabaab wreaks havoc amidst a backdrop of drought and political instability. The group noted that 80% of the country’s displaced population is women and children, and they face increased violence and inequality risks
The joint statement urged Somalia to take action to create a safe environment for women and girls and a more gender-inclusive humanitarian response. They also call for sexual and gender-based violence prevention to be integrated into Somalia’s drought response and famine prevention plan.
The Security Council members are deeply concerned about the surge in sexual and gender-based violence in Somalia and are calling for swift action against all perpetrators. They also emphasize the importance of women’s participation in formal decision-making forums and political processes to achieve lasting peace and stability.
Despite some encouraging signs, such as the election of Sadiya Yasin Haji Samatar as the first woman to hold the post of First Deputy Speaker, women in political positions still face harassment and violence. The representatives are urging women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation and representation in all areas of society.
The signatories welcome the launch of the Somalia Action Plan to implement the Somali Women’s Charter, the National Action Plan on Security Council Resolution 1325, and the Ministry of Defence’s human rights policy. They are encouraging the Federal Government of Somalia to ratify and implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and strengthen the legislative framework to protect women and girls against sexual and gender-based violence.