Somalia’s Concerted Move Toward Gender Equality

One of the big international stories of the year is Somalia’s new government. The United Nations helped usher through the “Roadmap for the End of Transition” from a Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to fair elections held on September 10, 2012. Secretary Clinton praised the signatories of the transition in late August and some experts say the September elections were the fairest in Somalia in 42 years.

Since the new government took office there have been small, yet noticeable moves toward gender parity in Somalia, mostly coming through training programs led by the UN mandated presence in Somalia of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Set to expire on October 31, 2012 the UN Security Council met last week and temporarily extended AMISOM’s mandate in resolution 2072 (2012) through November 7, 2012. The Security Council also adopted a statement promoting the role of women in peace and security.

The Security Council holds a meeting while the United Nations head quarters building is closed due to Hurricane Sandy. Security Council take a vote 15 in favor to textend the joint UN AU mission in Somalia UN Photo/Mark Garten

Yesterday, Fauzia Yusuf Haji Adan, was named Somalia’s first woman foreign minister.

“This is a triumph for Somalia and Somali women. It heralds a new page in politics,” she said.

Female genital mutilation was banned by its new constitution, and AMISOM has proactively included women on the front-lines of security. In fact, since 2011 1800 women have been recruited by the Somali police to usher in peace and stability in Somalia.

Policemen at General Kaahiye Police Academy undergo training in criminal investigation. The training is being provided by AMISOM’s Police Training and Development Unit and hopes to equip Mogadishu with a team of police officers that will effectively be able to deal with criminal investigations. AU-UN IST PHOTO / TOBIN JONES.


Yesterday U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman met with with the new leaders of Somalia and stated Somalia is now “a place of hope, not of despair.” Sherman is the highest ranking US official to visit Somalia in over 20 years according to RTT news.

To read more about AMISOM’s role in Somalia visit

Featured photo caption: AMISOM Trains Members of Somalia Police Force
The Police Training and Development Unit of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) conducts a two-week training programme in criminal investigation at General Kaahiye Police Academy in Mogadishu, for 160 policemen and policewomen of the Somalia Police Force. UN Photo/Tobin Jones

Somali policewomen taking part in the training programme.
21 October 2012

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