MOGADISHU, Somalia, March 8, 2014 – The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, joins the Somali people in celebrating International Women’s Day, and urges the Federal Government to broaden opportunities for women to contribute to the country’s peace-building and state-building processes.
“Over the past two extremely difficult decades, Somali women have demonstrated great resilience and an immense capacity to contribute to reconciliation and respond to humanitarian needs at the community, regional and national level,” SRSG Kay said. “Despite their significant role in efforts to reconstruct Somalia, women continue to struggle to have their voices heard, and their participation in politics remains limited.”
“Women are also the primary victims of sexual and gender-based violence, while literacy rates and school enrollment are substantially lower in the female population,” he added.
“Somali women are a vital part of the political and reconciliation process in the country and should fully contribute to it at all levels. Commitments on women’s participation and representation need to be turned into actions” SRSG Kay said.
He further stressed the need for concrete actions on the protection of women and girls, the provision of a safe environment and access to justice without fear.
“I urge the Government and relevant partners to expedite the implementation of the Joint Communiqué of the Federal Republic of Somalia and the United Nations on the Prevention of Sexual Violence,” SRSG Kay said. “The UN in Somalia stands ready to work hand in hand with the Government to improve the lives of the country’s women and girls.”
UNSOM is mandated to help build the Federal Government’s capacity to promote respect for human rights and women’s empowerment.
SOURCE: UNITED NATIONS