Somali women in Mogadishu have joined the world in marking the global campaign dubbed One Billion Rising. The event involves over one billion women and girls across the globe calling for an end to violence against women.
According to UN statistics, one out of every three women which is equivalent to one billion women and girls on the planet will be raped or beaten in their lifetime.
For the first time ever, the event was marked in Somalia and was attended by hundreds of women in Mogadishu, a capital that has been witnessing cases of rape among its female population in the past years.
SB1 Asha Haji Elmi MP, the Women’s Rights Activist
“For the first time in 22 years of civil war and decades of sexual violence, rape and female genital mutilation, Somali women have decided to break the chain of shame and years of anguish. Today you showed the world that Somalia is rejoining the community of nations”.
Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon also congratulated Somali women for participating in “One Billion Rising”.
Hundreds of Somali men and women gathered at the community centre in the district of Warta Nabadda, the only district in Mogadishu which has a female District Commissioner, to show their support for the One Billion Rising.
The female participants and event organizers staged a colorful presentation in front of the huge crowd. They argued that ending violence against women is as important as ending poverty, AIDS and global warming.
SB2 Ilwad Elman, Elman Peace ad Human Rights Center
“This is history in the making. Today its history in the making when women, and girls of all age can come together in front of crowds of hundreds of people and dance their hearts out for something they believe in”.
By taking part in One Billion Rising, the Mogadishu V girls hope to break the cycle of silence and give Somali women a chance to speak out against violence such as rape.
SB3 Amina Ali, Elman Peace and Human Rights Center
“The reason as to why we did this today is to show the other girls who have been in similar situation that have gone through this experience that women can stand up for their own rights”.
International rights groups among the Amnesty International, Human Rights and Press watchdog condemned the latest case in early February where a journalist and an alleged rape victim were sentenced to one year in prison.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also expressed deep disappointment over the sentences and urged the Somali government to ensure that all allegations of sexual violence are investigated fully and perpetrators are brought to justice.
Abdulaziz Billow, Press TV, Mogadishu