A Cake-Cutting And Music Entertainment Were Celebrated With The Reopening Of The Renovated And Expanded Hawa Feminist Coalition’s Office Premises

Hawa Feminist Coalition held a cake-cutting and music entertainment event to celebrate the re-opening of its renovated and expanded office premises in Garowe, Puntland, Somalia. Hawa Feminist Coalition, the first feminist-led movement in Somalia and a non-governmental and non-profit feminist organization founded in 2018 by young women and girls all under the age of 35, has seen progressive growth in recent years, as have its offices and community.

The organization’s headquarters office premises have been going through a major renovation and expansion in the past 5 months, which was completed on February 1, 2024, and a celebration event was held for the completion and reopening of the office on February 9, 2024. The event, which was very important and a momentous occasion for the Hawa Feminist Coalition’s team and its feminist movement in Somalia to commemorate their major accomplishment, was attended by the organization’s staff, key young feminist activists, partners, and friends, who shared their jubilant and congratulatory remarks.

Mariam Abdullahi Mohamed, a senior member of the Hawa Feminist Coalition’s team, delivered a welcome speech and briefly talked about the organization’s history, the expansion and renovation work, and how this will help the organization grow into a strong and visible young feminist movement in Somalia that is strong enough to take the lead in working on priority gender justice issues in Somalia.

“The expansion consisted of some that had been financed by the landlord, for example, the construction of a new building consisting of a conference hall that could accommodate more than 40 people at the time, two more offices, one toilet, and a storeroom and kitchen.” Said Mariam Mohamed

“As part of the expansion that was funded by the Hawa Feminist Coalition, security and safety systems were installed throughout the premises and these included fire alarms, fire extinguishers, exit lights, emergency lighting, and first aid kits in every room and space. And also the installation of a CCTV security system or cameras in all the areas, both outside and inside, of the office premises, which will make our office premises secure and protected. The working spaces were also modernized and expanded to accommodate more than 40 staff members, and the old office building was renovated and repainted, and attractive wallpapers and materials depicting the organization’s vision, cause, and feminist principles were affixed in the office’s entryways and work spaces. This will ensure that our staff and movement have the finest possible environment to work, meet, and pursue their goal.” Said Mariam Mohamed.

Fatima Hussein, a member of the Board of Directors of the Hawa Feminist Coalition, thanked the generous donors who support the Hawa Feminist Coalition with flexible funding and specifically appreciated the Black Feminist Fund, whose funding made the renovation and expansion work possible.

In addition to the remarks made by the Hawa Feminist Coalition’s team, speakers at the event included Umalkhayr Awad, a well-known local journalist and founder of Gole Media Company, who has a close partnership with the Hawa Feminist Coalition. The speakers also included Farhia Feisal, founder and executive director of Hambile Youth Initiatives, and Shukri Ali, a member of Tolmo Society.

“I’m very happy, and this is a joyful moment for Somali girls to see the progressive growth and prosperity Hawa Feminist Coalition, which is the only feminist organization in our country, is making toward establishing a strong feminist movement base.” Said Umulkhayr Awad

“Tonight’s celebration of the expansion and renovation of Hawa Feminist Coalition’s office premises is just one example of what we can achieve together as girls.” Said Farhia Feisal  

The proceeding was followed by live music entertainment, refreshments and open-house tour for audience interested. The ceremony was adjourned with enjoyment and joyfulness.

For more information or media inquiries, please contact info@femsom.org or +252 907 483965.

Trains 50 Emerging Young Feminist Activist on Feminist Advocacy and Intergenerational Activism in Somalia

Climate change is one of the most critical problems facing Somalia, along with other ever-lasting conflicts and political instability that the country has been going through for the last thirty years. Young women and girls have been disproportionately affected by climate change effects, such as repeated devastating droughts in Somalia, and they bear an unfair burden from these crises. Women and girls are not well included in the design and implementation of climate action strategies and responses. Despite deep gender disparities in Somalia, the few young feminist climate activists that come out to speak for themselves are facing challenges due to a lack of knowledge on advocacy and activism and limited collaboration among them to take an active and coordinated role in addressing climate change.

In response to this, Hawa Feminist Coalition held a training for 50 emerging young feminist activists from across Somalia and taught them more about feminist advocacy and intergenerational activism, as well as giving them a safe place to meet each other, joining their voices and actions, and sharing their thoughts on how to deal with climate change and their hopes for the future.

During the workshop, participants learned about the impact of climate change on women’s lives and livelihoods and explored feminist approaches to climate action, including the specific impact of climate change on women in Somalia, including its effects on health, livelihoods, and security. They also learned about the importance of feminist approaches to climate action, which recognize the unequal impact of climate change on women and seek to address these inequalities through inclusive and gender-sensitive policies and programs.

The workshop included a range of activities, including presentations, group discussions, and case studies. Participants learned about the importance of advocacy and policy-making in promoting gender-sensitive climate policies and built their skills in public speaking and movement building. The workshop also provided an opportunity for participants to network and connect with other young feminist climate activists from across Somalia. They shared their experiences and ideas and built a sense of community and solidarity around the issues of climate change and feminist issues.

These young feminist climate activists learned about feminist advocacy and intergenerational activism and formed partnerships and coordination among themselves. They are now able to lead the conversation about climate change, raise awareness, and encourage others to act.

The workshop ended with a call to action for participants to take their newfound knowledge and skills back to their communities and advocate for policies and programs that promote gender equality and environmental resilience. And record videos to share through social media platforms and reach thousands of people online.

50 emerging young female poets were trained on how to compose poetry in a workshop held in Qardho, Somalia

With support of Karibu Foundation, Hawa Feminist Coalition organized a mentoring and coaching for 50 emerging young female poets, mainly from marginalized communities, in a 5-day workshop held in Qardho, Puntland, Somalia, from June 3, 2023, to June 7, 2023. The main objective of this workshop was to mobilize and empower the emerging young female poets in Somalia so that they can use their talent to raise their voice and end patriarchal norms and gender inequality in Somalia.

These young female poets, who were selected from marginalized communities such as minority groups, internally displaced people, and refugees in Qardho, Somalia, are emerging poets who have a strong interest in poetry but need guidance and further learning of how to compose poetry with the help of experienced poets in order to be perfect in this poetry talent.

A female poet who has a great experience in poetry, mentored the young female poets and taught poetry, particularly Buraanbur. Buraanbur is a poetic form that is usually composed by women, and it is a cultural treasure through which Somali women celebrate, inspire, praise, and essentially prove their talents, creativity, and cultural uniqueness. Buraanbur poetry is a powerful communication tool that Somali women and adolescent girls can use to dismantle the structural and systemic roots of gender discrimination and claim their fundamental rights.

Within Somalia’s oral culture, poetry is especially powerful in influencing people’s attitudes, and Somali history provides ample examples of poets who used their art both to fan the flames of war and to bring peace. As a result of this, poetry is a powerful tool that can be used to address and challenge gender-based violence against women and girls, including domestic violence, rape, sexual abuse, early marriage, and FGM, which are widespread in Somalia.

With the help, guidance, and coaching of an experienced female poet, these 50 emerging young female poets learned how to compose poetry, particularly Buraanbur, in four days in a row. On the fifth day, the young female poets recited poems as a demonstration of what they had learned. The poems conveyed a range of issues regarding women and girls in Somalia, including awareness messages about ending gender-based violence, including domestic violence, rape, sexual abuse, early marriage, and FGM, which remained widespread throughout Somalia. Poems also included messages about the country, patriotism, and the importance of women’s role in society as the backbone of families and communities and requested acknowledgement of that role and the right to equal rights within the community.

Some poems also urged other young women to speak up, learn Buraanbur, and use the poetry to address their needs and bring attention to issues they face, including as gender-based abuse and harmful practices like FGM.

Hawa Feminist Coalition helped the young poets in spreading some of their poems to an audience of up to 200,000 people via social media and local FM radios. These poems promoted awareness among Somali people about the harsh facts of gender-based violence and the negative social norms, harmful beliefs, and practices against women and girls in Somalia. Poems gave these young women a stronger voice and inspired other young women to pursue learning poetry.

The young female poets promised to use their talent to address the issues important to women in Somalia, such as ending rape, sexual harassment, domestic violence, children, early and forced marriage and unions, and female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C), all of which are classified as significant human rights violations under international law and have devastating consequences for the health and lives of girls and women.

“For every girl who wants to be heard, I suggest learning Buraanbur. Since the Buraanbur is the sole tool that can aid women, it should be considered and supported…” says a participant in the workshop

“We would need to be driven by ambition and motivated to use the talent we have acquired; however, our aim of attaining equal rights and justice for all will remain unfulfilled if we remain sitting and untapped to our abilities..” says Ms. Yurub Noor, a participant to the workshop and a feminist activist

These young women poets were extended an invitation by Hawa Feminist Coalition to become activists, joining forces with other courageous young women activists who are dedicated to advocating for the rights and justice of women and girls in Somalia. Hawa Feminist Coalition operates as a membership-based organization, and all young women are eligible to become members.

“We have online community platforms such as WhatsApp groups where young feminist activists and other activists, including young female poets, are safe and encouraged to use their voice and collectively raise attention to their rights and needs. You will have the opportunity to interact with other activists and join the movement by receiving the group’s link, which I will provide…” says Ms. Sumaya Shirdon, a senior member from Hawa Feminist Coalition

At the conclusion of the workshop, the young female poets appreciated Hawa Feminist Coalition and the coach for their excellent leadership, facilitation and clear delivery of lessons and practical demonstrations of the workshop. They also expressed gratitude to the funding organization for supporting this important workshop and requested more similar opportunities in the future.

Call for Participation: Workshop for Somali Young Feminist Climate Activists

Climate change is one of the most critical problems facing Somalia, along with other ever-lasting conflicts and political instability that the country has been going through for the last thirty years. Young women and girls have been disproportionately affected by climate change effects, such as repeated devastating droughts in Somalia, and they bear an unfair burden from these crises. Women and girls are not well included in the design and implementation of climate action strategies and responses. Despite deep gender disparities in Somalia, the few young feminist climate activists that come out to speak for themselves are facing challenges due to a lack of knowledge on advocacy and activism and limited collaboration among them to take an active and coordinated role in addressing climate change.

Women and girls can be powerful leaders and change-makers for climate adaptation and mitigation, and without their leadership, knowledge, and participation in climate change responses today, it is unlikely that solutions for a sustainable planet and an equal society for men and women will be found tomorrow.

Hawa Feminist Coalition, founded by young feminists all under the age of 35 in 2018 as the first feminist movement in Somalia, is going to hold a workshop for the emerging young feminist climate activists in Somalia. In this three-day workshop, the emerging young feminist climate activists will learn more about feminist advocacy and inter-generational activism, and this will be a safe place to meet each other, join their voices and actions, and share their thoughts on how to deal with climate change and their hopes for the future.

Therefore, if you are an emerging Somali young feminist climate activist based in Puntland, Somalia, whose age is under 30 and who is interested in learning more about feminist advocacy and inter-generational activism and forming partnerships and coordination with other colleagues in the same field, this is the perfect opportunity for you.

The workshop will be around on May 25-30, 2023 and will take place in Garowe, Puntland Somalia. Hawa Feminist Coalition will be able to pay the transportation and accommodation expenses of a few participants who are coming to the workshop from outside of Garowe, where training will be held. All other participants will be given a participation fee.

If you are interesting to join the workshop, please fill your information in the below form before May 25, 2023.

If you need any further information or assistance, please contact us: info@femsom.org or the project focal point Ms. Nadira Abdirahman Mohamud nadira@femsom.org, +252 907 532 164. Or send message to the office WhatsApp/ Phone +252 907 483 965.

Engaging and building capacity, collaboration with young activists in Garowe

Mariam M. Hussein, a co-founder and member of Hawa Feminist Coalition provides brief training for some young activists in Garowe. Ms. Hussein met handful young activists; young women and men in Garowe who advocate range of issues – from youth rights to girls education in Garowe where she shared organizing, advocacy techniques and importance of collective actions.

These young activists who have been curious to learn new skills and experience to further their activism capacity have had a opportunity to discuss the power of collective actions and possible collaboration with Hawa Feminist Coalition in some common shared matters such as youth rights, GBV and improvement of girls rights in Puntland, Somalia.

This has been fruitful session that opened new opportunities and collaborations for these young activists who have firm commitment to pursuing a change. Furthermore, these young activists and Hawa Feminist Coalition will have collaboration on common shared matters such as advocating for girls rights and will also have information and knowledge exchange as well as initiating collective actions in the future.

Ms. Hussein together with other members of Hawa Feminist Coalition is going to approach and engage young activists in the path of promoting the safety, justice and dignity of young women and girls in Somalia.