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Communiqué of the Gender Workshop on the Road implementation

By Mission of UN in Somalia
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MOGADISHU, Somalia, December 15, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- A gender workshop on the implementation of the Roadmap was held in Mogadishu, Somalia, from 3 to 5 December 2011. The event was facilitated by the Gender Unit of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), under the auspices of the Ministry of Women Development and Family Care.

In attendance were Members of Parliament (MP), An officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, women organizations from Mogadishu, Galmadug, Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama'a (ASWJ), Puntland, women representatives of the Independent Federal Constitution Commission (IFCC) and other key women activists and from other regions in Somalia (BAY, Bakol, Gedo, Middle Juba, Lower Juba, Middle Shabelle, Lower Shabelle, Banadir regional administration).

The Honorable Deputy of Minister of Women Development and Family Care Mrs. Luul Abdi Adan officially opened the workshop. Other speakers during the opening ceremony were, the Road Map Coordinator in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr. Mahmoud Mohamed; Prof. Mohamed Omar Dalha, a member of Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP); Mohamed Moalim A/Rahman (Nadif), Deputy Chair of Human rights, Women and Child commission; AMISOM Head of Police Gender Desk; and the UNPOS Mogadishu Political Affairs Officer, to welcome the participants and guests on behalf of the SRSG.

Forty five representatives of women organizations attended the three day workshop aimed at giving gender specific recommendations on the Road Map and offer their support to contribute to achieving the set tasks to end the transition.

In her remarks, the Deputy Minister called on the women of Somalia, as the main victims of the long prolonged conflict, to “fully participate in and contribute to all efforts aimed at bringing lasting peace to Somalia. She urged them to put aside petty clan consideration and work as patriots to that end”.

Coming after the Civil Society consultative meeting of 26-28 November 2011, the main focus of the workshop was to collect additional recommendations on Somali women involvement in the on-going political process. To that end, the participants observed that though some clear provisions were made in terms of numbers of women in some technical committees, specific actions and activities were still to be proposed in line with the UN SCR 1325 (2000) which calls for the participation of women in the political process and their contribution to reconciliation and reconstruction efforts.

The participants were divided in accordance with the four pillars of the road map, deliberated on the tasks and agreed on the following points:

• Women as the main victims of the conflict fully endorse the implementation of the Roadmap to restore peace and reconciliation in Somalia;

• The recommendations that were arrived at during the meeting of the Civil Society Organizations deserve the support of women's organizations;

• To ensure that they play a principal role in the implementation of the Road, women should be part of and fairly represented in all technical committees established to implement it, as well as in the oversight mechanisms;

• More specifically, the number of positions allocated in the said technical committees should be respected and their views recorded and respected,

• A monitoring group, to include women in the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs), regional administrations, ASWJ , representatives of women's organizations , IFCC, and technical experts should be established;

• Regular meetings between the Ministry of Women Development and Family Care and women's organizations should be held to monitor progress on the implementation of the Roadmap;

• The role of women in the implementation of the Roadmap should be enhanced and publicized throughout the country;

• All the recommendations should be sent to the Road Map Technical Committee for their consideration.

Furthermore, the participants recommended the following:

SECURITY PILLAR

- A gender mapping of the security sector should be conducted to better address the security needs of Somali women,

- Security sector reforms should specifically address the protection of women, children and other vulnerable groups;

- Women's involvement in all disarmament and fight against proliferations of small arms and light weapons of weapons programmes, especially at community levels,

- Ongoing gender based violence, abuse and violation of women's rights, sexual exploitation and abuse should be addressed and their authors severely punished

- The development of a strong judiciary system as a means to punish perpetrators, ensure repair to victims and combat impunity,

- The Ministry of Women Development and Family Care or designated women's groups representatives should be included in the Joint Security Committee (JSC), and its working groups;

- All security related committees and working groups should endeavor to attain 40% representation of women;

- Individuals/groups involved in looting the national resources should be treated in the same manner as pirates;

CONSTITUTION PILLAR

- Ensure that there is an expert on sharia law and women's right during the constitution-making process;

- Ensure that Consultative meetings target women at grass-roots level and the diaspora to address all the gender related issues;

- Develop a civic education program specifically targeted at women;

- On the Parliamentary Reform, women should be given at least 40% in all parliamentary commissions, and other related committees;

- On Election and Constitutional Referendum, design and support a specific program on women and elections coordinated by the Ministry of Women Development and Family Care.

OUTREACH AND RECONCILIATION PILLAR

- Map out and document Somali women's efforts and achievements on peace and reconciliation;

- All reconciliation committees and sub-committees at national, regional, district and village levels and awareness campaigns on peace and reconciliation women should strive to have 50% women's participation;

- Access to justice, trauma counseling must go parallel with reconciliation initiatives.

GOVERNANCE PILLAR

- Involve women in all campaigns against, nepotism and corruption,

- Develop women's capacity to participate in all good governance committees;

- Develop their capacities for public management when appointed in public institutions;

- Adopt affirmative actions for their recruitment in the reformed public service.

The participants called upon the men and women of Somalia to support all efforts aimed at the restoration of peace and stabilization of the country. They reiterated the key role that women organizations should play in advocacy and lobbying for the implementation of the tasks outlined in the Roadmap.

The participants request that the Ministry in collaboration with UNPOS should organize similar meetings on a quarterly basis with wider participation.

The participants expressed their gratitude to the Ministry of Women Development and Family Care, and UNPOS, for organizing the workshop.

The workshop ended with a closing ceremony at which his Excellency the Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Defence, Honourable Hussein Arab Isse, as well as the Minister for Women Development and Family Care, Honourable Mariam Aweiss Jama, of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia presided. The Deputy Prime Minister assured the participants of the Government's commitment to promoting women's participation in the peace process and decision-making.