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APO International

United Nation Women Somalia trains civil society on gender in humanitarian Action

todayMarch 18, 2024 7

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In December 2023, UN Women Somalia partnered with Somalia Disaster Management Agency (SODMA) for a capacity building training in a determined effort to train civil society and civil right organizations across Somalia on gender in humanitarian action. Somalia, grappling with the frontline impacts of climate change, experiences a merging of crises that have exacerbated displacement, urbanization, food insecurity, poverty, and health challenges. According to OCHA statistics, Women and children make up more than 80 percent of displaced people and face significant protection risks, which are heightened by pre-existing inequities. High levels of acute malnutrition persist in many areas, with an estimated 1.7 million children aged 6 to 59 months facing acute malnutrition between January and December 2024, of whom 430,000 are likely to be severely malnourished. Access to healthcare is limited and functional health facilities are inadequate, which heightens the risk of maternal and infant mortality.  Most concerning is the fact that there is high incidence of sexual and gender-based violence. The struggle for dwindling resources intensifies competing priorities and limits the access of women to emergency services. The country, having faced a severe drought affecting millions, is struggling with heavy rains and floods, which have displaced hundreds of thousands. There is a need for recognition and facilitation of participation of front line CSOs at the grassroots for effective monitoring and to ensure ‘No One is Left Behind’.  Recognizing the gender-specific impacts of these crises, UN Women and SODMA conceptualized a training initiative focusing on, the Gender in Humanitarian Action (GIHA) program, aimed to empower civil society organizations and civil rights organizations in Somalia.

The GIHA training sought to equip CSOs and CROs with essential skills, knowledge, and tools to effectively respond to the increasing gender-specific needs arising from humanitarian crises. It was grounded on the principles outlined in the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Gender Handbook for Humanitarian Action, with an outcome on broadly understanding the humanitarian architecture in Somalia and how it is embedded on the essential role of gender equality in Humanitarian Action.AlQima from Somalia Disaster Management Agency (SODMA) said in her remarks” The best thing I learnt during the training was how to do a gender analysis. This is very important for my line of work with IDPs, mostly women and girls affected by crisis.”

The training targeted civil society organizations actively engaged in Somalia with priority given to women-led organizations, women’s rights groups, and gender-focused entities. Organizations representing people with disabilities and those reflecting specific identities were also represented. Each organization nominated two technical staff members engaged in programming.

Dr. Syed Sadiq, Head of UN Women Somalia appreciated the partnerships with SODMA and the CSOs and the generous support of Government of Japan in organizing the training, which is aimed at integration of Gender in Humanitarian Action in programming and to ensure increased access to essential services for women and girls in need of assistance.

The outcome of the training was to understand the challenges faced by women during a humanitarian crises and the priorities specifically how the Humanitarian Architecture works in Somalia, understand why Gender Equality is Essential in Humanitarian Action, identify key approaches to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls (GEEWG) in Humanitarian Action, understand how to do a Gender Analysis and strategic planning based on the assessment and Resource Mobilization and how to apply to fundings calls on GIHA.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN Women – Africa.

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