Examining the causes and consequences of gender based violence (GBV) in Somaliland (Produced by: Amplifying civil society voice on GBV coalition members in Somaliland)

On 28th February 2017, Progressio Somaliland along with a coalition of 12 Somali Civil Society Organizations launched a research that was conducted in the 2 regions of Maroodi Jeex and Togdheer.The report was launched by the State minister for Labor and Social Affairs, H.E. Mr. Abdi Daahir Amoud at a function attended by different CSOs, NGOs, INGOs, UN agencies, community elders and other community representatives.

In her opening remarks, the Country Representative Progressio Somaliland, Ms. Suad Ibrahim Abdi noted that “previously we were in denial about the existence of gender-based violence in our communities but currently it’s clearly visible. It’s unethical, immoral and has negative consequences.

In his speech, the minister applauded the research team and also reechoed the problems of GBV in Somaliland including rape and gang rape which have increased in the recent times. He called upon all the stakeholders including government and Non-government, CSOs, communities and traditional elders to unite and fight against the evil.

A panel of discussants included Ms Asmahan Abdisalam – Chairperson NAGAAD Network, Mr. Abdirahman Gaas – Executive Director NAFIS Network, Deka Hassan Ahmed – CCBRS and Ms Kailee Jordan – the Lead researcher . NAFIS Executive Director highlighted the importance of the research results and advocated government institutions and other organizations to increase their response towards prevention of GBV problems. The chairperson of NAGAAD urged the parliament of Somaliland to approve and pass the sexual offences bill, FGM policy and other related policies that help the people.

Key findings and recommendations of the research

Participants across the study area reported a wide range of gender based violence including intimate partner violence, rape, gang rape, sexual assault, FGM/C, forced marriage, denial of resources and general discrimination. Internally displaced people, refugees, young women and adolescents and people with disabilities were found to be highly vulnerable to GBV with consequences occurring at individual, relational, community and structural/ society levels.

Respondents attributed the increase in GBV to many intersecting factors such as high unemployment, social acceptance of some forms of GBV, associated shame and stigma, overlapping and competing legal systems and the weak institutional frameworks. The research proposed a number of recommendations including strengthening related laws and policies, increasing GBV evidence base, creating jobs and building inclusive economies, raising awareness at community levels, utilizing key advocates and allies to end GBV and last but not least ensuring holistic gender programming that addresses positive masculinities.

The article is part of the project; Amplifying CSOs voices against Gender Based Violence in Somaliland

To access the full research report you can contact Women Rehabilitation and Development Association (WORDA) – worda_org@yahoo.com

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