Jan 2014 – Jul 2016
In the past year Somalia has begun to reestablish a degree of stability. As hope grows that the country is finally turning a new page women find themselves with an opportunity to firmly establish themselves in the political arena.
Women's ability to pursue gender sensitive development within government is constrained by the degree of influence they hold, the loyalties they maintain and the desire they have to achieve gender equality. The project investigates the impact women have upon gaining public office. Do the few women in politics represent the female population in Somalia? How or why are they constrained from pursuing gender-focused agendas? What opportunities do women have to exert political pressure beyond the confines of the national government? What linkages exist between women in politics and popular women's movements in Somalia?
The GENSOM project consists of three sub-projects, which study
the history of women in politics in Somalia,
the level of access women have to formal and informal arenas of power,
the influence that women have in Somali politics, particularly in relation to a gender agenda.
The GENSOM project is a collaboration between the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies (HIPS).
Over a two-year period, 40 life histories, 70 semi-structured interviews and 10 focus groups will be held held with women in Mogadishu, Hargeisa, Garowe, London and Oslo.
The second issue in 2017 the PRIO Gender, Peace and Security Update is now out.
The lead story in this issue includes an interview with researchers Christine Amisi (ICART) and Gudrun Østby (PRIO) about their research on support programmes for survivors of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The lead story in this issue of the GPS Update is an interview with PRIO’s research partners from Nepal and Myanmar about the new project ‘Gender Equality, Peace and Security in Nepal and Myanmar’.
The lead story in the first 2015 issue of the GPS Update is a report from a conference on ‘Somali Women’s Civic Engagement: Past, Present and Future’ organized in Nairobi on 6 February by the GENSOM project. In this issue you can also read an interview with PRIO Senior Researcher Inger Skjelsbæk about a new project at PRIO entitled ‘Equal Peace? Women’s Empowerment and Multicultural Challenges in War-to-Peace Transitions’. You will also find reports from the launch of the new Norwegian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, the fifth High-Level Seminar on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Processes, a seminar at PRIO on national action plans with the Institute for Inclusive Security, and PRIO Senior Researcher Torunn L. Tryggestad’s recent appointment to the 4th Advisory Group of the UN Peacebuilding Fund. As usual, the GPS Update also gives you an update on relevant seminars, reports and policy briefs, as well as a list of publications which might be of interest to our readership.
Post-independence politics in Somalia has been largely defined by instability, conflict, and state-failure. During the regime of President Siad Barre women gained greater societal freedom and actively engaged in local and national politics. Following the downfall of the Barre regime, as warlords and Islamic militants sought authority in south-central Somalia, women were forced to retreat from formal politics. The research project Gender in Politics in Somalia: Access and influence in a post-conflict state is addressing both the history and the current situation, has now been funded by the Research Council of Norway (NORGLOBAL).
Journal Article in Journal of Eastern African Studies
PRIO Policy Brief