UK Project Aims to Aid Somali Gender Violence Survivors

  • UK's top diplomat joins Somali Minister for Women, Human Rights and Development, Amina Hassan Ali, to launch Gaashaan project in Mogadishu.
  • The launch event, hosted by journalist Ifrah Noor, includes Somali delivery partners, Save the Children, CARE and the International Rescue Committee.
  • UK funding to the Gaashaan project will support survivors of gender-based violence, tackle child protection concerns, as well as empower local women rights organisations to end gender-based violence in humanitarian crises.

Ahead of International Women's Day, the UK's top diplomat, Sir Philip Barton, joined British Ambassador to Somalia Mike Nithavrianakis and Somali Minister for Women, Human Rights and Development, Amina Hassan Ali, to launch the UK's flagship Gaashaan project, which will support survivors of gender-based violence across Somalia.

The launch event, held on 4 March, featured a roundtable discussion on women's political empowerment and women's rights in Somalia, chaired by Chief Editor of Bilan Media, Ifrah Noor. The event also recognised the efforts of women's rights organisations in addressing risks faced by women and children in Somalia.

Ifrah Noor, Chief Editor of Bilan Media, said:

Women's participation in political spaces can only be fully achieved if proper accommodations are made. We have to finance, equip and train women to be influential leaders and to turn our words into action.

Partners delivering the project, including Save the Children, the International Rescue Committee, CARE, Save Somali Women and Children, Somali Women and Development Centre Somali Women's Studies Centre, and Gargaar Relief and Development Organisation spoke to invitees about the impact of the project, which is already improving lives across the country.

British Ambassador to Somalia, Mike Nithavrianakis, said:

As we prepare to mark International Women's Day, it was fantastic to welcome Minister Amina Hassan Ali and partners to launch our flagship women and girls programme - Gaashaan.

The Gaashaan programme will have a tangible impact on the lives of Somali women and girls, addressing impacts of climate shocks and conflict by offering support to survivors of gender-based violence.

Somali Minister, Amina Hassan Ali, said:

We are very pleased with the UK's support in protecting Somali women and children. On behalf of the Federal Government of Somalia, the Ministry of Women, Human Rights and Development is delighted to commemorate International Women's Day with the launch of Gaashaan project.

In December, the UK announced £15 million to establish Gaashaan and help support survivors of gender-based violence over the next four years.

The Gaashaan project (which in Somali means "shield"), will reach over 117,000 people, offering improved access to specialised protection services. It will also work to empower grassroots communities and women's rights organisations, to prevent gender-based violence and other forms of violence impacting women. The project will also help tackle child protection concerns. All of these challenges are compounded by conflict and climate change in Somalia.


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