Somalia: MOGADISHU-Somali women on Monday called for inclusion in humanitarian response and post conflict reconstruction process in the Horn of Africa nation.
Speaking during the World Humanitarian Day celebrations held in Baidoa the capital of South-Western state, Somali women called on the federal and regional governments to include them in the drafting of the new constitution as well as put in place measures to encourage more women into political leadership.
Deqa Yasin, Minister of Women and Human Rights Development, promised to work with all stakeholders including the civil society to ensure that the upcoming constitution making process is inclusive and takes care of the interest of women and girls in Somalia.
According to a statement from the UN Women Africa, the women suffer the highest consequences during armed violence and conflict.
“There is an urgent need to address the specific needs of women and girls and involve them as equal partners in humanitarian response and post conflict construction. This will help address humanitarian and protection needs of displaced women and girls, including violence against women and girls,” said the UN agency.
Speaking at the celebration, UN Woman’s Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka appreciated the role played by humanitarian actors in protecting people in crisis majority of whom are women and children.
Mlambo-Ngcuka called on humanitarian actors to ensure that that women and girls are not left vulnerable and insecure in conflict and post conflict situations.
She observed the young girls are particularly vulnerable in conflict and humanitarian situations and are often subjected to harmful practices such as child marriage, female genital mutilation and human trafficking.
“Practices that are a violation of their right and contribute to systemic gender inequality within society. Women and girls should not be targets for extensive gender-based violence during situations of conflict and disaster and must be protected by everyone in society including the civil society, government and community leaders,” she said.
The UN official said over 2.6 million people in Somalia live in internally displaced camps, most of whom are women and children due to environmental shocks and conflict.
“Critically still more than 5 million people in Somali need humanitarian assistance.
Mlambo-Ngcuka said the UN Women is working with the federal and regional governments to protect Somali women and girls through targeted humanitarian and development actions.