November 27, 2019 (AO) – A public awareness forum held in Mogadishu on Tuesday called for an end to violence against women in conflict in Somalia.
The forum organized by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) noted that the privacy of the victims and survivors must be protected.
“This day reminds us of our commitment to ensure advocacy for survivors, to ensure awareness-raising, and to ensure that in different countries laws are amended towards the protection of women and children,” Gloria Jaase, AMISOM protection officer said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
For the 16 days of activism, Jasse said, AMISOM is going to hold a series of workshops and outreach programs in various parts of Somalia aimed at advocating for the end to gender-based violence and other forms of violence against women and children, which ties into AMISOM’s campaign for community-led initiatives for sustainable peace.
The forum brought together youth groups, women’s organizations, local councils, internally-displaced persons and officials from the government to explore avenues for reporting abuses, survivor assistance at the community and policy levels, and referral arrangements in cases of violations.
Each year on Nov. 25, the world kicks off the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence campaign which ends on International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.
AMISOM police gender coordinator, Stella Sedame, urged the participants not to remain silent but to report any cases of gender-based sexual violence and conflict-related sexual violence that happen in their communities.
“Do not let the fire in you die in this room. Go back home and help victims and survivors of gender-based sexual violence and conflict-related sexual violence. But most importantly, remember that the privacy of the victims and survivors must be protected,” she urged.
According to the AU mission, amongst the most vulnerable groups are women and girls living in internally displaced camps and areas still under the control of al-Shabab and other armed terrorist groups.