The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), in collaboration with the International Centre for Peace, Human Rights and Development (IPHRD-Africa), has held a sensitisation meeting to enhance the participation of Somali women leaders in peace processes, human rights and nation-building.
The discussions, organized by AMISOM's Protection, Human Rights and Gender (PHRG) Cluster, deliberated on advancing the commitment to support the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on women, youth, peace and security.
Dr Omar Alasow, the Human Rights Adviser to the Head of AMISOM reiterated AMISOM's commitment to sustainable peace and security in Somalia, and the realization of Human Rights. He said women are important to the peacebuilding process in Somalia.
"AMISOM is bound to implement the mandate entrusted by African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) and authorized by the UN Security Council in line with the applicable guidelines on gender and Human Rights, especially Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security," Alasow said.
The AMISOM's Gender Officer, Ms. Mane Ahmed, , explained that it is through contact and dialogues, and such engagements that attitudes and behaviour towards gender can be shifted, and young female peace builders can be inspired.
Key topics covered included; AMISOM gender-mainstreaming policies and mechanisms, the progress of implementing UN Resolution 1325 in Somalia, the role of civil society in peace building, and role of women leaders in addressing conflict-related sexual violence.
AMISOM's Protection Officer, Ms. Gloria Jaase, , explained the distinction between conflict-related sexual violence and sexual violence.
"We all know that conflict-related sexual violence is a war crime, and it is a crime linked to conflict and political strife, perpetrated by parties to the conflict. We are not dealing with sexual violence categorized as gender-based violence," she said.
The forum attracted eight young Somalia women leaders who are mediation ambassadors pushing for increased participation of young women in peace processes and leadership.
Audrey Adhiambo, the Coordinator of the Young Women Mediation Programme at IPHRD-Africa, spoke on the need for continued mentoring of young women in Somalia as well as facilitating their participation in decision-making.
"We can work together to create awareness on UN Resolution 1325 on Women and Peace and Security. We need to include young women in amplifying the resolution," Adhiambo said.
Jamila Hagi, a participant, thanked AMISOM for the opportunity and promised to share the insights discussed with other women and girls across Somalia.