Celebrating Somali women in leadership and business

Faiza Sharif Nuur, the Minister of Women, Family Affairs and Human Rights, in South West State

Faiza Sharif Nuur, the Minister of Women, Family Affairs and Human Rights, in South West State.

When I was appointed as a Minister, I felt proud. It was an opportunity to change policy. Working with local civil society organisations we established the South West Women’s Network, creating a united front for women to take part in the state building process.  

With the support of the Ministry the network have been lobbying for women’s participation in the upcoming elections. One of my proudest moments since becoming a Minister was seeing women win 50% of the slots available on the Dinsoor council.  I know it is going to be tough, but together with the women’s network, we hope to achieve the 30% women’s quota at the next election.

Faiza Sharif Nuur, the Minister of Women, Family Affairs and Human Rights, in South West State
Faiza Sharif Nuur, the Minister of Women, Family Affairs and Human Rights, in South West State

Belo Ahmed Adan, runs a beauty salon in Adaado in Galmudug.

I have been in this business for almost ten years. I have faced a lot of challenges and once lost a boat and the whole crew due to rough seas.  We bring in around 20-30kg of fish a day, but security risks around Barawe limits our ability to sell beyond the city and the price we get can vary hugely. A lack of facilities means that fish spoils quickly. 

But can you imagine Barawe’s strategic position? We have massive fishing resources and nearby there are many towns that we could sell to if security was better.  I am optimistic about our future business. The recent rehabilitation of the fish market has improved hygiene and attracted more customers, and the opening of Barawe airstrip will increase access to other markets.

Belo Ahmed Adan, a salon owner in
Belo Ahmed Adan, a beauty salon owner in Adaado district, Galmudug state of Somalia.

Cadar Ismail Jurate, founding member of the Kismayo Women’s Platform.

The platform was established to create solidarity among the women of Jubbaland and to promote peace.  In the months leading up to the Jubbaland elections in 2019, some men were mobilising their clans to prepare for conflict. We saw a role for the women’s platform to bridge the divisions, but women themselves were divided in their support for different presidential candidates. We decided to focus on what unites us.  

We agreed that irrespective of who won, peace was more important. We declared that as women we would only support candidates who recognised women’s leadership.  The platform mobilised and sent peace messages across the region. Together with other women’s networks we met individual presidential candidates to convince them to come together. Today women organisations in Jubbaland are more united, despite their divergent political views.

Cadar Ismail Jurate, founding member of the Kismayo Women’s Platform.
Cadar Ismail Jurate, founding member of the Kismayo Women’s Platform.

Falastin Salat Mohamed lives in the coastal city of Barawe and owns her own fishing boat.

I have been in this business for almost ten years. I have faced a lot of challenges.  I once lost a boat and the whole crew due to rough seas.  We bring in around 20-30kg of fish a day, but insecurity around Barawe limits our ability to sell beyond the city and the price we get can vary hugely. We have massive fishing resources and nearby there are many towns that we could sell to if security was better. 

But I am optimistic about our future business. The recent rehabilitation of the fish market has improved hygiene and attracted more customers, and the opening of Barawe airstrip will increase access to other markets.

Falastin Salat Mohamed a businesswoman in Barawe city, South West State of Somalia.

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