Mainstreaming Gender and Women's Rights in the JNA Status Update

Monday, November 15, 2004
Author: 
Somali Joint Needs Assessment- United Nations Coordination Specialist
Countries: 
Africa
Eastern Africa
Somalia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Participation

http://www.somali-jna.org/


Process

At the JNA Inception Retreat in Nairobi (Nov. 2004) Gender and HR Cluster team agreed on a work plan, methodology, allocation of tasks among team members, and a program of visits to Somalia.

UNIFEM developed and circulated the methodology and checklist

UNIFEM recruited a gender expert: Ayoo Odicoh to work with Hendrica Okondo (Programme Manager for Somalia). The UNIFEM team also consists of Aina Iyambo (Snr. Governance Advisor-NY) and Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda (UNIFEM Regional Programme Director ).

In recognition of the important role of Somali women in reconstruction SIDA Sweden provided a grant for mobilizing Somali women experts to identify their priorities and advocate for integration of women's rights in the RDP.

Mid January-Early February the team embarked on mission to Somaliland (for JAN zonal workshop and Productive Cluster field mission) and Puntland and the Central Zone centered on Jowhar (With Prod. Cluster). Process….

Early January UNIFEM held 3 consultative workshops in Hargeisa, Garowe and Mogadishu with Somali women gender experts.

Mid February UNIFEM and IGAD hosted a national Gender Experts Group Meeting (EGM) in Nairobi.

The team has held discussions and continues to provide technical support to the JNA clusters.

The team is currently working on further data compilation and reporting as well as strategizing for further involvement of Somali women in JNA.

Objectives of the Consultations

- Build awareness and understanding among Somali women on the JNA
- Share experiences and lessons related to gender mainstreaming initiatives in Joint Needs Assessments
- Identify and prioritize Somali women's recovery and development needs within the JNA
- Develop a strategy to lobby for implementation of women's agenda in the JNA and Somali reconstruction process

General Constraints Facing Somali Women

- Lack of opportunities for profitable work
- Insecurity
- Low education
- Lack of a strong and functional government institutions
- Low economic status
- Lack of strong commitment on women's empowerment
- Lack of access to credit/capital to start business

Cultural barriers that do not support women's empowerment

- Lack of strong self confidence and awareness about the self among women as a result of social education
- Lack of access to information
- Lack of coordinated empowerment initiatives and unity of purpose for women

Infrastructure

CONSTRAINTS:

- Poor road networks that hinder access of basic social services, trade and transportation
- Inadequate social infrastructure
- Lack of markets and sanitation systems for women
- Lack of security
- Lack of a functional government
- Discrimination of women in infrastructure programmes, employment and consultancies
- Women are not able to access adequate energy for domestic and entrepreneurship
- Lack of low cost and quality shelter and sanitation for women and girls

PRIORITIES:

- Rehabilitation of main roads and rural roads
- Involvement of women in infrastructure planning
- Building of health facilities and schools
- Provision of shelter to poor orphaned girls and women, especially widows and most vulnerable women
- Resettlement of women refugees and IDPs
- Employment of women and their involvement as experts and managers in infrastructure reconstruction and in infrastructure committees
- Construction of public sanitation facilities and maternal health care centers close to markets

2. Governance, Safety and Rule of Law

CONSTRAINTS:

- Non consideration of women in positions, opportunities and benefits in governance and DDR because they are not armed
- Negative Non recognition of role of women in governance
- Non consultation with women
- Low representation-South/Central perceptions on women involvement with militia
- Low representation of women in key decision making-parliament,cabinet, judiciary, local government etc
- Using culture to violate women's rights
- Absence of regulatory framework for civil society participation in governance structures
- Lack of support from international community

Cultural barriers
- has the lowest representation of women in the parliament and cabinet

PRIORITIES:

- Provide gender mainstreaming strategy for DDR
- Provide family support grants and capacity building for women and girls in households with combatants
- Civic education campaigns for clan leaders and the public to legislate and enforce affirmative action
- Recruitment of women in law enforcement agencies and human rights training for all staff
- Establish a human rights commission
- Support strengthening of existing initiatives on peace and governance
- Engender reforms and establishment of civil service
- Employ women as experts in DDR and governance structures and operations +Recruitment of women in law enforcement agencies and human rights training for all staff
- Fully implement provisions for the women in the national transitional charter 12% and other national laws
- Increase women's representation in all public positions and institutions at all levels of governance.
-To form Somali women's professional associations and commissions (merge with priority on human rights)

3. Productive Sector

CONSTRAINTS:

-Lack of access to credit as women do not own any assets or property for collateral
- Insecurity in the country hinders women's mobility
- Non involvement of women in Chamber of Commerce and other decision making structures in the sector
- Non existence or weak networks of business women
- Limited opportunities for engagement in income generation and wage employment due to negative social expectations
- Lack of access and control over land and other productive resources
- Lack of veterinary services
- Lack of access to markets
- Recurrent droughts
- Poor road and transport network
- Lack of knowledge, use of innovative technology and equipment in farming in livestock & fishery

PRIORITIES:

- Increase support to women in small scale industries in productive sector and equip them with skills

- Improve women's access to productive equipments and facilities

- Access to financial management opportunities for women including having employment quota in the private sector

- Improvement of security for women especially in the productive sector

- Women friendly policy and public/privates sectors adoption of quotas
- Support access to local and international markets for women
- Capacity building for women in productive sector-partnership, etc.
- Encourage and train women in livestock, fish and farm production and marketing
- Provide women with capital for investment in the productive sector
- Promote use of advanced technology among women
- Work with women on sustainable environment protection programmes
- Provide alternative energy to women
- Implement ban on charcoal export
- Include women in environment management committees

4. Social Services & Protection of Vulnerable Groups

CONSTRAINTS:

- Lack of affordable sanitation services
- Lack of adequate sanitation services
- High school drop out rates for girls
- High levels of illiteracy among girls and women
- High maternal and infant mortality rate
- Vulnerability of women to Sexual, gender based violence and HIV/AIDS
- Absence of institutional framework for protecting women in IDP camps and from targeted trafficking syndicates

PRIORITIES:

- Framework for water and sanitation that addresses specific needs of women and girls
- Develop mechanism for provision of water and sanitation to poor urban and rural households
- Introduction of a legal reform framework to enhance basic education for girls
- Review health policy to mainstream gender
- Establish mechanism to protect women and girls from poor and minority groups
- Develop a policy on eradication of FGM and provide incentives to communities abandoning the practice

5. Macro economic policy and data development

CONSTRAINTS

- Lack of business knowledge at macro level among women
- Lack of experience in business among women
- Lack of a gender responsive macro economic policy
- Prevailing insecurity
- Non involvement of women in major industries eg money remittance, frankincense trade, fish industry etc
- Lack of opportunities for profitable work
- Low education
- Lack of a strong and functional government institutions
- Low economic status
- Lack of strong commitment on women's empowerment
- Unfavourable borrowing environment for women
- Few and non women friendly financial institutions

PRIORITIES

- Restoration of peace
- Encourage and train women in macro level entrepreneurship
- Establish credit programmes for promotion of women in business
- Establishment of business women's networks
- Development of policy framework that creates a conducive environment for women entrepreneurs
- Develop a gender sensitive capacity building strategy to enhance women's involvement in macro level governance
- Develop policies for good economic governance that promote security of women in property rights
- Development of gender sensitive legal and regulatory framework for the financial sector

6. Livelihood & Solutions for the Displaced

CONSTRAINTS:

- Lack of skills and knowledge on profitable work
- Low economic income of women
- Lack of basic needs
- Lack of integration of returnees and the displaced
- Lack of access to loans and investment opportunities
- Lack of vocational skills training
- Lack of access to land and housing
- Inhuman living conditions
- Extremely poor sanitation environment (No toilets)
- Gender based violence

PRIORITIES:

- Creation of income generation schemes
- Establishment of micro enterprise
- Motivation and training of women entrepreneurs
- Rehabilitation and construction of markets to enable women trade under favorable environment and to ensure good public health
- Integration programmes for returnees and IDPs
- Provision of incentives, literacy training, and loan services
- Provide vocational skills training
- GBV programmes

EGM Recommendations to IGAD Ministers for Gender/Women Affairs

- Ensure the effective inclusion and participation of Somalia women in the JNA.
- Ensure Aid modalities include women's presence and formal presentation of issues in donor conferences (e.g Sudan Oslo Donor's Conference).

Mechanisms in place for gender responsive resource planning, budgeting.

Support for institutional framework for gender and women mainstreaming (Ministry and other mechanisms) to be strengthened and supported.

Monitoring mechanisms for peace agreement and JNA implementation forum and the IGAD partners forum must have specific commitment to gender and have women's participation.

We urge for the implementation of the 12% as defined in the transitional charter as well as take action toward ratification of the regional and international women's rights instruments.

WE THUS COMMIT OURSELVES TO:

- Implement the Nairobi Recommendation of the Meeting of Experts of Gender in the IGAD Region of Feb 20, 2006 that include effectively mainstreaming gender in national policies; networking nationally and regionally in thematic and cross-cutting concerns; adopting gender and the Rights Based Approach; promoting women in entrepreneurship, and mitigating the impacts of HIV Aids on women.

MOREOVER WE SHALL:

- Institutionalise and implement affirmative action by allocating resources amounting to 10% of the national budget, over and above the budget allocated to recurrent and capital budgets towards the implementation of women specific declarations, programmes and projects in line with the MDGs.
- Support women political initiatives to enable them to enter and effectively participate in politics, with political parties adopting affirmative political action to have at least 50% of legislative seats, executive and judicial positions at all levels; and launching local innovative and appropriate resource mobilization activities that will empower women to influence national policies;
- Promote women's self-reliance by advancing women entrepreneurs through small and medium scale enterprises, access to resources, inputs and markets and take to account the time and energy that women invest in national development;
- Support institutional capacity building by recognising and utilising existing mechanisms within Africa and also tapping the technical capacity of regional institutions, think tanks and consulting organisations;
- Develop monitoring systems for the implementation of the IGAD Gender Policy and establish an annual Gender Peer Review Mechanism to facilitate implementation follow-up.

WE FURTHER NOTE:

With appreciation that progress made on the UNIFEM/IGAD partnership for the last five (5) years and recognise progress in areas of Gender Budgeting, women's involvement in peace process, post conflict reconstruction and capacity building in Women's empowerment and Gender mainstreaming. Further direct the IGAD Secretariat to negotiate with UNIFEM for continued partnership and to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding for the next five (5) years.

On Post Conflict Reconstruction and Peace building in the Sudan, progress has been made and we are grateful to the support provided by IGAD in partnership with UNIFEM and other Development Partners. We call upon the inclusion of Women in the Peace Monitoring measures as well as avail resources through a Multi-donor Trust Fund to Sudanese Women's priorities as presented at the Oslo Donor Conference.

On Joint Needs Assessment for Post Conflict Reconstruction in Somalia, the following has been decided;
- Ensure the effective inclusion and participation of Somali women in the JNA, especially in assessment, prioritization, implementation, management and monitoring
- Ensure women's presence and formal presentation of women's priority issues in donor conferences (e.g Sudan Oslo Donor's Conference) as well as participation as official delegates
- Aid modalities and mechanisms for post conflict reconstruction such as Multi-Donor Trust Fund must be gender responsive.
- Support and strengthen institutional mechanisms for women rights and gender mainstreaming (Ministry of Women and Family Affairs) and other mechanisms.
- Monitoring mechanisms for peace agreement (Transitional Charter) and implementation of the Reconstruction and Development Programme and the IGAD partners forum should have specific commitment to gender and women's participation. o
- Reiterating the provisions in the transitional charter for Somalia, we urge for the implementation of the 12% quota for inclusion of women in decision-making structures at all levels and in all institutions. Urge ratification of the regional and international women's rights instruments.
- Appreciate the support of SIDA through UNIFEM for facilitating the consultative meeting of Somalia Women on Joint Needs Assessment (JNA) and call upon for continued support.

WE FURTHER STRONGLY RECOMMEND:

That the Chairperson of this 4th Regular Meeting of Ministers in charge of Gender and Women Affairs present this Declaration to the 11th IGAD Summit.

Done on February 22, 2006, Nairobi, Kenya

Results of Somali EGM

1st time ever Somali women experts have come together with mobilization of UNIFEM, IGAD and others to deliberate on issues of Somali women on reconstruction of Somalia

Through women's request, IGAD made it possible, for the first time ever, for women, who are not part of the ministerial meeting, to seat in the meeting.

Had critical personalities who define issues in Somalia-JNA seat and listen to the Somali Gender Experts Group Chair of the 4th IGAD Women/Gender Ministers read recommendations country by country and issues were accepted by all

Gender & Civil Society advisor of NEPAD in the EGM took the Somali women's issues at the level of NEPAD

EGM deliberations beyond women's issues therefore covering wider constituency

Empowered institutions that participated to push for women's issues