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Put in place laws to protect women, UN envoy tells Somalia in marking International Women’s Day

Sunday March 8, 2020

MOGADISHU (HOL) - The UN envoy in Somalia James Swan has called on Somali government to fast-track legislation aimed at protecting women rights singling out sexual offenses and female genital mutilation laws as critical in taming the offenses.

In a statement to mark the International Women’s Day, the UN official noted though women had made significant contribution in the country’s recovery process, they had not got state protection from offenses perpetrated against them.

“The United Nations also encourages renewed attention by national leaders to the draft Sexual Offences Bill and Female Genital Mutilation Bill, as cornerstones for the protection of women’s rights in Somalia,” said Swan.

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He praised Somali women for their contributions in rebuilding the country adding similar efforts must be put in to entrench and protect their rights within the country’s legal framework.

"Somali women have made important contributions as Somalia rebuilds and continues on its path to peace and stability," Swan. “They have demonstrated tremendous courage, strength and dedication in the face of many challenges, including protracted conflict, lack of security, natural disaster and political instability."

Noting that women’s equal rights are critical for the country’s national development agenda, Swan called for affirmative action to ensure the 30% quota for women is achieved in the upcoming elections.

“Ahead of Somalia’s forthcoming ‘one person, one vote’ elections, the United Nations in Somalia urges all Somali stakeholders, particularly the political leadership, to support women’s representation in politics and decision-making, and to guarantee that equality becomes a living reality for all Somalis, regardless of their gender,” the statement read in part.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is 'I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights.'

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