In Somali folklore, there is a proverb ‘Haween la’aani waa hoy la’aan‘ which means ‘Where there are no women, there is no home’. This adage aptly emphasizes the importance and appreciation of women as integral and indispensable pillars of society. However, gender inequality permeates the social, political and economic fabrics of the Somali society. All too often, women are discriminated against in education, health and the labour market. Women do not lack the willingness nor the ability to contribute. Rather, they lack the opportunity. Lack of security, limited opportunities and empowerment continues to disadvantage women and impacts negatively on the quality of life for both men and women.

HIRDA recognizes the important role that women play in the development of the country. They provide food for the family, raise the children, and are often the binding factor between families and the community. HIRDA is committed to improving the overall situation of women in Somalia and in the Horn of Africa, as well as amongst the diaspora.

In our Gender Programme, the main objectives are to:

  • Enable women to organise themselves
  • Increase their independency
  • Eradicate the harmful tradition of FGM
  • Improve health care for mothers and children