H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, today joined celebrations on the occasion of International Women's Day, praising Somali women as the "backbone and breadwinners of Somali society".
The President said: "Congratulations to all Somali women inside and outside of the country, and I encourage them to redouble their valuable efforts to help us rebuild Somalia. Women are the backbone and breadwinners of Somali society. For the last 23 years women's role was absolutely essential in holding the country together. They were the heart of the society, supporting families and contributing to the economy."
"It is part of our religion and our culture to respect women and to appreciate their important role. I thank our people for their continual appreciation and respect they give to our women. Somali women never took part in the conflict and they consistently stood for peace and prosperity. Those in the Diaspora never forgot their families, neighbours and friends and for years they contributed to the upkeep of families by sending money back to their families and neighbours during the conflict."
"Somali girls in the Diaspora had the opportunity to study and now many of them are top grade students and graduates, which is an encouraging development, and something of which we are enormously proud."
"Women face numerous challenges in Somalia, including sexual violence and healthcare, especially during pregnancy and giving birth. I call on all Somalis to support our girls and women with a view to study, and to work, so that they can compete with their counterparts around the globe. Somali women should unite and support each other and settle their differences through reconciliation, compromise and understanding. The success of every society is dependent on how it respects, appreciates and treats its women."
"The Somali government is committed to redoubling its efforts towards supporting and encouraging women so that they can receive all rights and support they deserve, and we want them to take a leading role in politics, education and the economy."