Challenging old norms and practices

Story - 2019-03-07
The women's rights defender Kaltun Sheikh Hassan Ahmed is in the front of changing norms and strengthening women's right's in Somalia.
Portrait of Kaltun Sheikh Hassan in a red hijab.

She monitors, investigates, documents, and advocates against gender based violence. No actions against women shall go unnoticed. Kaltun Sheikh Hassan's commitment to women's rights and gender equality have been unstoppable.

Stronger together

Working in unity with with other organisations the fight for women's rights have been essential in pushing the progress forward in Somalia. 

Through her work Kaltun Sheikh Hassan works holistically addressing the need for women's rights to be fundamental for a sustainable peace and developing the Somali society. Together with a range of organisation they approach the issues from all angles. Supporting survivors of gender based violence to find the strength to working with media to prevent future attacks and changing the laws. 

The collective effort of the Somali civil society has created an impressive amount of women and men who wants change.

To create lasting effect she has worked hard on addressing development and gender policies that are dictated in areas such the family law, and focusing female genital mutilation to protect the next generation of women.

Women participation in Somali politics

Kaltun Sheikh Hassan have been a strong advocator women's inclusion in politics and is currently the only women in the Somaliland National Election Commission (NEC). She has also been active raising the issues as the supplementary the Chairperson of Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa: SIHA Network.

Prior to the 2016, she was the chairperson of NAGAAD umbrella, the strongest women's right network in Somaliland.

Her organization Women's Action for Advocacy and Progress Organization (WAAPO) is expecting to work with Forum Syd in Hargeisa  to empower women and girls to participate politically and achieve their ambitions of creating progress at district levels. 

Women’s rights are human rights!

Unfortunately the obvious statement is far from reality. Still in 2019 women face systematic discrimination of their rights and liberties every day in every country.

This week Forum Syd celebrate women who organize and stand up for their rights and challenge patriarchal norms in our societies. To commemorate International Women’s Day Forum Syd highlights inspirational women who show that together we have the power to change! 

Read our series "Women change the world" of inspiring women's rights activists:

Colombia: The story of Jani Silva - a rebel from the heart.
Cambodia: "Being a young girl wont stop me", Song Rany an emerging leader.
Kenya: Grace Lolim, defying culture in the fight for equality. 
Liberia: Betty Breeze Doh, standing up for thousands of women in Liberia.

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