MOGADISHU Somalia (AMISOM) – The Deputy Speaker of the Somali Parliament, Mahad Abdallah Awad has asked female legislators to evaluate the country’s laws and examine whether the legal framework promotes women’s rights and uplifts women in various leadership positions.
The gender unit of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in partnership with the Federal Government of Somalia is presently training women Members of Parliament to build capacity on issues of the law and the media.
A training workshop opened at the AMISOM VIP conference centre in Mogadishu, drawing participants from current and former Somali female Members of Parliament, AMISOM officials who included Lydia Wanyoto, the Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission to Somalia (DSRCC).
Mahad Abdallah Awad, the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament who opened the workshop said:
"It is also important to evaluate the laws produced by Parliament to know what has changed in regards to the preservation of women’s right.
"There are so many laws passed by Parliament, but are these laws favourable to defending women’s rights and ensuring their rights?
"Our Constitution in the 3rd Article on basic rights calls for women to take an active role in all nominated and elected public positions. Have we reached that target? Are we close to achieving it?"
The training workshop will cover human rights and gender equality in relation to the Somalia jurisdictional system; gender; international humanitarian laws, analysing laws and policies with gender tools; gender discriminatory customs and practices; campaign skills; how to develop messaging and disseminate through the media.
Maimuna Shiekh Omar, the Deputy Minister for Women Affairs and Human Rights said:
"We are happy today to see women MPs’ capacity building being implemented.
"We are very grateful to AMISOM for organising this seminar which is aimed at improving women MPs’ knowledge.
"We are also very pleased to see so many people taking part in this workshop and we welcome it and thank the organisers of this workshop."
DSRCC Wanyoto said: "This workshop therefore Mr. Speaker is meant to help the caucus to learn how to wear gender lenses in their daily work, for example to study the budget which provides critical access for women and children, healthcare, education, economic opportunities, or be able to recognize and denounce discriminatory laws against women as their representatives."
Wanyoto added that the African Union is committed to building the capacity of Somali women legislators in understanding of their role and responsibilities in the protection of girls and women, and support empowerment to change attitudes towards women and their role in society.
Maryam Isaak, the chairperson of the women’s caucus in the Somali Parliament expressed hope that the workshop would equip them with skills that would be used to enhance women’s rights.
SOURCE: Coastweek, 15/06/2015, http://www.coastweek.com/3824-AMISOM-support-enhancing-Somali-women-MPs-...