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March 24, 2022 (ADAMA, Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) through its Special Mission to Somalia (SMS) concludes an expert dialogue on strengthening women’s role in peace building and conflict transformation processes in Somalia.

The expert dialogue aimed at enhancing the representation and participation of Somali women in public spaces and promoting inclusive and gender responsive processes. The workshop was held in Adama, Ethiopia, from March 22-24, 2022, with support from the European Union and in collaboration with the Federal Government of Somalia, Minister of Women and Human Rights Development. It was attended by 33 experts from the Federal Government and Federal Member States of Somalia as well as IGAD member states.

The opening ceremony of the workshop was presided over by H. E. Hanifa Mohamed, Minister of Women and Human Rights Development, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and Mr. Walter Ochanda, representing the IGAD Special Envoy for the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Somalia.

In her opening remarks, H.E. Hanifa Mohamed recognized the importance of women’s role in resolving and transforming conflict and securing durable peace and development. Organizations like the IGAD, she said, are the actual guardians of the Women, Peace and Security agenda and essential to women’s effective participation. She added that involving women in peacebuilding and conflict transformation at all levels is a must to achieve lasting results. In his remarks, Mr. Ochanda expressed his delight at the opportunity for experts to meet and discuss the pertinent matters of women inclusion and participation in peace building and conflict transformation. He further congratulated the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) for the progress being made in the sector and acknowledged the EU and FGS for the joint efforts to shorten the road towards gender equality and shape a gender-inclusive future.

The experts explored the strategic conditions for gender-inclusive and participatory peace building, identifying the need for continued joint efforts by local, national, regional, and international institutions in the empowerment and participation of women in peace building and decision-making, as well as in formal peace processes, in order to help Somalia, build a more just, peaceful, and stable future. During the event, regional experts presented best practices for enhancing the role of women in peace building. The expert dialogue ended with a comprehensive action plan aimed at strengthening women’s engagement in Somalia’s peace building and conflict transformation efforts.

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