July 19, 2024
Somalia launches National Action Plan on UNSCR 13 for women and security
– By Godswill Odiong

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On the 5th of September 2022, the Federal Government of Somalia launched the Somali National Action Plan (NAP) for the implementation of the Somali Women’s Charter and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325). The process of developing the national action plan was led by the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development, in collaboration with other line ministries with a gender, peace and security mandate with the support of the Government of Sweden through UN Women Somalia. The key objective of the national action plan is to ensure the inclusion and participation of Somali women in peacebuilding and decision-making at all levels, and the national action plan acknowledges this as a critical foundation for effective governance, sustainable peace, and development.

The national action plan identifies and seeks to respond to persisting and emerging peace and security issues that affect and concern Somali women such as conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, access to justice, inclusion in the constitutional review processes, state building and peacebuilding, national reconciliation and transitional justice mechanisms, prevention of violent extremism, as well as climate change, humanitarian emergencies and COVID-19.

The launch of the Somali National Action Plan for the implementation of the Somali Women’s Charter and UNSCR 1325, therefore, indicates the commitment of the Government of Somalia to promoting and protecting the rights of Somali women in all efforts. It also indicates the commitment of the Government of Somalia to establishing a peaceful and secure state and serves as a call for all state and non-state peace and security actors.

The launch of the Somali National Action Plan for the implementation of the Somali Women’s Charter and UNSCR 1325 paves way for the Government of Somalia in integrating gender in the cycle of peace and security processes and to align gender-responsive peace and security interventions under the umbrella framework of the Somali National Action Plan on UNSCR. 1325.

The Somali National Action Plan (NAP) on UNSCR 1325 serves as the national-level policy framework for the pursuit of the women, peace and security agenda and implementation of the NAP is expected to happen at the federal member-state level. Efforts to develop Local Action Plans in 5 federal member states have been ongoing with support from the United Nations Joint Programme on Women, Peace and Protection through the United Nations Peace Building Fund, and the UN Somalia Joint Fund. Activities that have begun towards achieving the outcomes of the NAP include the establishment and operationalization of the National Steering Committee, and the establishment of women’s peace and security networks to serve as a platform and safe space for local women from the federal member states to convene and strategize on how to address peace and security issues that affect them. There are efforts to establish and operationalize the Somalia Chapter of the Africa Women’s Leadership Network and the Parliamentary Women’s Caucus under the recently elected government administration, and to build the capacity of parliamentarians to develop and pass progressive legislation that will consolidate and expand on the gender equality and women’s empowerment gains made in the recent past in Somalia.

The 5 Federal Member States and Banadir District have initiated the process to develop and launch local action plans (LAP) on UNSCR 1325. Each federal member state has a draft LAP that identifies persistent, existing, and emerging peace and security issues, analyses the gendered impacts of these issues, and develops specific strategies to address these issues comprehensively and systematically over a four-year time frame. The Federal Member States are in the process of finalizing the Local Action Plans and it is expected that the LAPs will be launched in early 2023.

UN Women Somalia has worked closely with the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development and the two houses of Parliament at the FGS(Federal government of Somalia ) level (The Upper House and the House of the People), and the offices of the Speakers of Parliament at the FGS (Federal governments) level to identify strategic entry points to support the establishment and operationalization of Parliamentary Women’s Caucuses at the FGS (Federal government of Somalia) and FMS (federal members state)level. Various meetings have been held including with the Speakers of both houses, and with women parliamentarians from Hirshabelle and Galmudug to reflect on the experiences of past caucuses, including reflection on successes, lessons learned and strategies to overcome challenges. This reflection process has been criticized as it will inform the structure, mandate, and strategic approach of the Parliamentary Women’s Caucuses under the current government administration in all efforts to review, develop, pass and oversee the implementation of laws and policies that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in Somalia. UN Women Somalia is seeking to sign letters of agreement with the two Houses of Parliament to enable a smooth rollout of the technical support to establish and operationalize Women’s Parliamentary Caucuses at the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Members State level.

Establishment of the Somalia Chapter of the African Women Leaders Network

UN Women Somalia is working closely with the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development to establish the Somalia Chapter of the African Women Leaders Network. To this end, the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development have identified members of the AWLN Interim Steering Committee. It is expected that AWLN ISC will convene in late January 2023 to develop the Terms of Reference and selection criteria for membership in the Somalia Chapter of the African Leadership Women Network. Thereafter women leaders will be able to join the network, develop a strategic action plan for the Somalia Chapter and roll out implementation of the same with reference to advocacy efforts for gender equality and women’s empowerment broadly, and implementation of the women, peace and security agenda as articulated by the Somalia National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325, and the Local Action Plans on UNSCR 1325 more specifically.

17 women networks have been established in each FMS (federal members state) (3 networks in 3 districts in each federal member’s state) and in 2 districts at the federal government of Somalia level. The networks have developed their terms of reference, which include regular convenings to identify peace and security issues, their impacts on women and girls, and strategic approaches to engage state and non-state actors to escalate these issues for resolution and address at the district level, and at the federal members state level where relevant. In 2023, UNDP will be supporting the regular convening of the women’s networks, and UN Women Somalia will support sustainable resource mobilization efforts to support the networks to roll out and implement their action plans on the women, peace and security agenda as articulated in their local action plans on UNSCR 1325. UN Women will also seek to create strategic linkages between the 17 networks, the Parliamentary Women’s Caucuses at the Federal Members State level, and the Somalia Chapter of African Women Leadership Network at the Federal Governments of Somalia and Federal Members State level to ensure synergies are identified and leveraged in the identification of women, peace and security issues and advocacy for dedicated action to address and resolve issues in a sustainable and transformative way.

Under the framework of the Women, Peace, and Protection Joint Programme, it was envisaged that a civil society reference group would be established to serve as advisors on the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the programme, and to advocate for the realization of the objectives of the programme. To this end, UN Women served as a secretariat in the identification of members of the. Women peace and protect civil society reference group It is expected that the first convening of the Reference Group will take place in the first quarter of 2023 and that the members of the Reference Group will assume their functions thereafter until the end of the project in November 2023.

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