The Vision, the Courage and the Deeds of Some Notable Women of Somaliland origin pays off.


I was watching an occasion in this week, whereby the American secretary of state was honouring a noble award for Somali women that is employed and engaged on social development programmes in Somalia, mainly, the capital Mogadishu, even though America is away from Somalia not less than 10, 000.00 kilometer.

However, the America state department is acquainted the role taken by that woman for the advancement for her country. This event has reminded me, for a woman in Somaliland that is equivalent if not extra elevated.

She is Khadra Haji Gadh. A personality, which is self-motivated, enthusiastic, transparent and sincere, at the time she was the mayor of Gabiley. The world press, mainly the west had reported that a woman was elected by ballot for civic post for a conservative society, in which these types of positions are no go zone for women. The election of female Councilors in late Somaliland election process is also a positive step towards social equality which is reached up the village/district level e.g. ”Salahley”.

In reality, that nomination of Ms Khadra had boosted up the image of Somaliland in world community, as the same had sourced us praise and appreciation too in the world media. Similarly, the world press has commented about her replacement, which is contrary to the previous reflection. According to me, the only justification on her replacement is that, because; she is a female, which is unethical, unprincipled, and immoral in every judgment and any commonsensical. Unfortunately, she was removed from the post for an agenda, other development issues, which could be visualized by everyone. Khadra was an icon for whole Somaliland at the time, she was the Mayor.

Gabiley, which is relatively small town, has been reported in the international media and that had sourced exceptional image to all of us. Nevertheless, we have reversed our previous vision and had taken one step back, which is not liked by the public and the international community as well.

She is not at all connected or related with me by blood, nor are we originated from same town, as I am originated from Hargeisa, the national capital and according to my understanding, she is originated from the town of Gabiley, a place, where she was elected from. However, the only rationalization that affected me is the unlawful manner that she was replaced, which has not pleased to any true citizen. I am fully in agreement, that every good-hearted human being shares with me that visualization. The only thing that we share is that, we are both true Somalilanders.

I do not hold responsible for the government and the people of Gabiley on her replacement, as the responsibility solely falls with her associated council members, who are aiming hidden agenda, which was not at all based on development issues.

In social gender balance in our society today, despite of the above, I am conscious that, we have several women in our (Somaliland) cabinet ministries, in which two of them were recently nominated, namely, Shukri Bandari and Shukri Harir, which is considered as a positive development on social equality. In my recollection, Shukri was involved community development projects in many parts of the country and in one occasion, the former president of American (Bill Clinton) has presented a noble award.

Apart of the above, I am mindful of other female personalities, who contributed valuable development in the society advancement. Among them, is Suad Ibrahim Abdi who is running a privately nongovernmental organization (Progressio), which contributed noteworthy improvement and enhancement progress in Somaliland that is recognized by the local and the international community at large. Another notable female is Nura Abdillahi Magan, the Country Representative of Caritas Switzerland/Luxembourg in Somaliland, who strive among others to improve the educational and financial opportunity available to women in Somaliland, with the various programmes led by Ms Nura, more than 15,000 women have accessed literacy and numeracy courses in an effort to eradicate illiteracy in the Somaliland community who after one year of learning able to read and write; similarly in the other programmes ( education, water and sanitation infrastructure) run by the organization the beneficiaries living in peri-urban and rural areas of Somaliland exceed 90,000 families as per the extend of rural setting involved in the programme: a commendable step towards life improvement in rural society.

Ms Fadumo Saeed is also another noble personality recognized through media in view of her involvement on Somali-land development programmes. Another female activate of this category is Faiza Jama Mohamed, Director of the Africa Regional Office of Equality Now based in Nairobi, Kenya. Equality Now was founded in 1992 to work for the protection and promotion of the human rights of women around the world.

Working with national human rights organizations and individual activists, Equality Now documents violence and discrimination against women and mobilizes international action to support their efforts to stop these human rights abuses. Faiza has led campaigns for women’s land rights in Uganda; enforcement of the law prohibiting female genital mutilation in Tanzania; enactment of such a law in Mali; ending rape, abduction and forced marriage in Ethiopia; and ending rape of adolescent girls by teachers in Zambia.

She is also the key organizer of Solidarity for African Women’s Rights, a pan-African coalition of organizations that successfully campaigned for the adoption of, and is now campaigning for the implementation of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. Since it was adopted in July 2003, 45 countries have signed the Protocol and 24 have ratified it.

Dr. Edna Aden, a mother of all female achievers in the Horn of Africa, who is running non- private making maternal hospital in Hargeisa is also another activate women that contributed extraordinary achievements in health sector is also a noble personality activate, which is familiar in all Somaliland and beyond.

Another famous activate who deserves in her place in this article for her past benevolence in Somaliland is Fawzi Yusuf Haji, the present deputy Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister of Somalia. At the time that she was active in Somaliland, Ms Fawzia was involved many communities projects and among project she heavily contributed is Hargeisa University. Another famous women originated from Somaliland is Kenyan foreign minister, Amina Mohamed even though the Somalis make less than 12% of the Kenyan population, which are historically inhabited the Northern Frontier District adjacent to Juba regions of Somalia.

In Western world, there are at least, two women activates originated from Somaliland and both of councilors in their respective towns. Ifrah Ali kireh is Swedish councilor and Fadumo Madar is Norwegian Councilor. Additionally, it is obvious that, there are tens if not hundreds of Somaliland a woman activates, similar or equal to those, in which their names are mentioned above.

In conclusion, we should improve the social equality between the genders in order to capture the international congratulate and also to advance the gender social equality, so that we, should not treat our women as a second class and deprived out of their various basic rights enjoyed by the male population. So, it is worth to embrace the vision, the courage and the deeds of the above female activate of Somaliland origin.

Ismail Lugweyne.