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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Experiences of Somali Women in Civic and Political Engagement

In the decades since independence, many Somali women have actively sought to expand women’s political and civic participation in Somalia. From the Somali Women’s Democratic Organization established during the Siyad Barre regime to the Sixth Clan movement founded in 2002, Somali women have a rich history of engagement in politics, peacemaking, and activism. 

On 6 February 2015, the Rift Valley Institute’s Nairobi Forum, in partnership with the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies (HIPS) and the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO), hosted a short film screening followed by a panel discussion examining the experiences of Somali women leaders in political and civic engagement and reflecting on the road ahead.

Documentary Screening

‘Gender in Politics in Somalia: access and influence in a post-conflict state’ (GENSOM)


Laura Hammond, Head of the Development Studies Department, The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), UK


Sahra Kiin Abdirahman, Senior Livelihoods Officer, Concern International

Fawzia Aden, Politician, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister (Somalia)

Asha Gelle, Chairwoman, Independent Review Commission on the Constitution (Puntland)

Zahra Nur, Former Minister, Constitution, Federal Affairs and Democratization (Puntland)

Hamdi Mohamed, Gender Specialist

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