Cablegate: Somalia - S/Gwi Project Proposals

DE RUEHNR #0374/01 0530919
R 220914Z FEB 10



E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: SOMALIA - S/GWI Project Proposals


1. Post appreciates the opportunity to submit five proposals from
women's organizations in Somalia's South-Central, Somaliland, and
Puntland regions to the Secretary's Office of Global Women's
Issues. In response to a call for proposals, post received over 85
submissions from non-governmental organizations across Somalia in
all of the thematic areas listed in reftel a and b. All of the
proposals we selected are for activities in locations where there
is relative calm, not controlled by violent extremist groups, and
where it will be possible to conduct monitoring and evaluation. We
gained input from our implementing partners on the capacity and
financial management control standards of all the organizations
that submitted proposals. We have only included proposals from
those organizations that meet basic U.S. government standards. This
cable outlines the most outstanding projects, in rank order, from
each of the three regions, which emerged after deliberations by a
technical committee composed of State and USAID officers.

2. The U.S. Government does not have a permanent diplomatic
presence in Somalia, but we have developed innovative ways to carry
out project monitoring and evaluation. Working through our local
partners, we have been able to effectively monitor small grants we
have awarded using public diplomacy program funds. These small
grants have had major impact by allowing us to partner directly
with Somali organizations to work within their communities to raise
public awareness, initiate economic development projects, and
engage youth in sports, drama, and other activities. We intend to
use a similar method to ensure transparency in the management of
grants awarded through S/GWI. In all three regions of Somalia
there are women's umbrella organizations: Coalition for Grassroots
Women's Organizations (COGWO) in South-Central Region, We Are Women
Activists (WAWA) in Puntland, and Nagaad (a Somali word meaning
after hardship and difficulties, we have come to rest in peace)
Women Umbrella Organization in Somaliland who are willing to advise
the recipient organization and work with us to monitor and evaluate
their projects, at no additional cost.

3. All of the projects proposed in this cable would be managed by
the Somalia Affairs Unit. Each of these projects fills a need in
the regions and sectors they target. The submissions are focused
on providing economic opportunities for women and empowering
women's participation in Somalia's democratic and political
development. With new opportunities to earn income and make their
voices heard, Somali women beneficiaries would advance their
political, economic and social rights. Empowered at the community,
regional, and national level, these women will become more equal
partners in creating the conditions necessary for improved security
- the highest priority for U.S. policy in Somalia. There are no
current U.S. funded projects that support women to achieve these
goals and women are rarely the direct beneficiaries of non-food
U.S. government assistance in Somalia. A grant from S/GWI would
enable us to work directly with the dynamic women who have been the
lifeline of Somalia through two decades of conflict.

Microcredit for Victims of Terrorist Attack

--------------------------------------------- ---------

4. The following project is our number one ranked submission.

-- Project title: Waberi Women Bomb Blast Survivors Support

NAIROBI 00000374 002 OF 014

-- Region: Mogadishu

-- Problem to be addressed: Lack of income generating activities,
vocational training, and start-up capital for victims of conflict
in Mogadishu. With few economic opportunities in Somalia's
capital, food-for-work programs offered women small incomes and
food in exchange for public works projects. On August 3, 2008, a
group of women street cleaners took a break and gathered for tea.
A remote-controlled roadside bomb exploded and seventeen women and
two men (who were filling in their wives) were killed immediately.
There were 37 survivors, many with significant injuries. Today,
the survivors continue to suffer physically, psychologically and
economically. The trauma of the attack has left many of the
survivors handicapped and children of those who perished are now
orphans. The women want to start over, yet they are still without
economic opportunities, remain marginalized and lack the support to
enable them to sustain alternative livelihoods. The proposed
beneficiaries have received no direct assistance since becoming
victims of this terrorist attack.

-- Summary of proposed program: This proposal targets a small group
of vulnerable women who were victims of a targeted terrorist attack
in Mogadishu. The project will provide counseling for the victims
while providing them with skills to sustain alternative
livelihoods, initiate vocational training and provide the survivors
with capital to start their own businesses. By focusing on a small
group of women and their families, this project can become a
successful model for training and microcredit that can eventually
be extended to the multitude of victims of terrorist attacks in

-- Project description: For a period of 18 months this project will
target 37 women survivors of the Waberi bomb explosion and their
families and 90 orphaned children of women who were killed. Most
of the beneficiaries live as internally displaced persons (IDPs) in
the Waberi district of Mogadishu. Key project objectives are to
offer counseling to 37 survivors, initiate a literacy and business
skills training program, provide start-up capital for the women to
start their own businesses. It will provide the orphans with
school uniforms, learning materials, and school fees, while provide
victim's families with cash incentives to enable the women to
complete the training program and bring their businesses to
profitability. With a holistic approach supporting the network of
victims and their families, who all still live in the same
community, the project will strengthen the support structures to
enable the beneficiaries to gain self-sustaining livelihoods.

The specific project activities would begin with psycho-social
counseling to help the survivors work through the trauma of the
attack. Dr. Maryam Awes, a qualified Mogadishu-based counselor
will lead the counseling sessions which will run concurrently with
literacy and entrepreneurial training. The training will equip
beneficiaries with basic arithmetic and business skills to enable
them to effectively manage their own businesses. For all the
proposed training, qualified and experienced trainers in the
various training fields will prepare manuals that will be provided
to all beneficiaries. The women will learn basic concepts of good
business management, simple book-keeping, and diversifying their
small businesses. They will also be taught cooperative trading
such as purchasing goods in bulk and then sharing the profits.

The vocational training will be concentrated in areas that the
beneficiaries can immediately use and that will enable them to
easily earn income thereafter. The beneficiaries will be guided in
their selection of their activities but will have the option to
learn traditional weaving, basket making, and cloth weaving to make
mats, baskets, clothes and other items used daily in the markets
where they will sell their goods. They will also have the
opportunity to learn tie dye techniques, tailoring, shop-keeping,
grocery, and butchering skills.

NAIROBI 00000374 003 OF 014

Considering that the 37 target beneficiaries and their families are
extremely poor and currently have no sustainable income, the
project will provide them with monthly cash incentives to enable
them to complete their training. The stipends will cover their
transport, sustain their families, and motivate them. After
completing their training, the beneficiaries will be encouraged to
utilize the skills they learned to earn sustainable incomes. To
this end, they will be provided with grants to have start-up
capital to launch their small businesses, based on their vocational
skills training.

In order to ensure that the 90 orphans of the women killed in the
attack also receive immediate benefits, the project will provide
school sponsorship, uniforms, and learning materials. These
orphans will also be offered counseling and will have the
opportunity to participate in selected training sessions offered to
the women. The project will also prepare the children for
entrepreneurship opportunities in their future.

-- The budget for this project is $99,730 over 18 months. Detailed
budget figures are available for additional review.

-- Recipient organization: Women Education and Voicing
Entrepreneurship (WEAVE) was founded in 2008 and works towards
building the capacity of Somalia's women and vulnerable groups,
especially children. WEAVE is headquartered in Mogadishu and the
organization's founder, Asli Duale, has a wealth of experience in
education and health sectors and has worked with a range of our
international partners in South Central Somalia. In 2009, the
organization managed a baseline survey to identify the needs of
Somali Women within Mogadishu. The organization and its founder
are well known to the Somalia Unit and has demonstrated the
technical and management capacity to implement this project.

Establishing Micro-enterprises for Vulnerable Women

--------------------------------------------- ----------------------

5. The following project is our second ranked submission.

-- Project title: Promotion and Establishment of Micro-enterprises
for Women

-- Region: Borama, Lugaya, Saylac and Baki districts in Awdal
Region, Somaliland

-- Problem to be addressed: In Somaliland, rural communities rely
on subsistence agriculture and livestock production as their
principal source of livelihood. This sector is important for rural
women even though it is vulnerable to low productivity, inadequate
market facilities and irregular income. In urban areas, women
engage in small scale micro enterprise activities for a few basic
commodities such as livestock, milk, meat, grain staples,
fruits/vegetables and other locally made handicrafts. The women
petty traders manage their small scale business and have control
over their resources but they lack training, expertise and relevant
skills and knowledge to properly run and manage their businesses.

NAIROBI 00000374 004 OF 014

Due to relative peace in Awdal region, large number of Awdalian
refugees in refugee camps in eastern Ethiopia, are returning to
Somaliland. Having adapted the refugee camp lifestyle, returnee
women in general and female- headed household families in
particular live in environments not conductive to entrepreneurship.
A micro-credit project would enable these women to access small
loans and begin their own businesses. This project is intended to
help 200 women in Borama, Lugaya, Saylac and Baki districts improve
their small businesses, increase income and promote family

-- Summary of proposed program: This project would target 200
women in four districts of Somaliland to help them increase their
income through the provision of micro-credit loans. The 200 women
beneficiaries will be organized in 40 cells of five women per cell.
Project activities include training in business skills and access
to loan credit. The objectives are to improve family livelihoods
by empowering women to become entrepreneurs. Another key objective
is to expand the skills of cell leaders to manage the credit
program for its members.

-- Project description: The project beneficiaries are 200 women.
Eligible borrowers will be returnees or IDPs in the Borama,
Lugaya, Saylac and Baki districts aged between 20-60 years. The
women must have a guarantor at individual and cell levels for
repayment of the loan and saving. She must engage in legal
business within the target area and willing to accept mandatory
saving and a cell (group) approach system. She must be honest and
have a solid reputation in the community.

Women beneficiaries will be organized into cells of 5 persons.
Cells in a particular community can form a company which will have
access to higher levels of financing. This strategy creates a
culture of mutual group cooperation in which the women can assist
each other at all levels.

Security for loans - Established through a cell guarantee system
through co-guarantor among cell members (to pay defaulter assets)
i.e. a peer group approach system. There must be an external
guarantor for every cell member in which the savings of each member
and her other cell member can be tapped to cover the outstanding
loan of the defaulter.

Loan maturity - In general, loans will be classified as short term,
with a maturity period of six months.

Loan ceiling - The amount of loan that a cell may be entitled to
borrow will depend on the total membership of the cell. Loans
extended to the cell shall be in the form of group loans for
individual projects. In our case, 40 cells of 5 members each are
identified in 20 target locations in Borama, Lugaya, Saylac and
Baki districts. Every member of the cell group will receive a start
up loan of USD 110.00.

Service charges - The purpose of service charge is to increase the
amount of cash in the fund. It is the only way that the revolving
fund can increase its capitalization funds to be able to give out
more money to new beneficiaries. It is not possible to run a credit
program without administrative fee. Therefore, the women borrower
must pay service charge. Service charge will be charged at flat
rate of 10% of the amount received and duration of repayment of the
loan will be four months. Service charges will cover
administration and training costs.

NAIROBI 00000374 005 OF 014

New members will benefit from the money repaid by existing cell
members. The program will give examples of how to calculate service
charges using different assumptions. Service charges are intended
to cover program costs and is payable at the time of loan

Savings - The project will inculcate the value of savings for
productive purposes. Saving will be in the form of capital
building-up fund. This encourages borrowers to save for increasing
initial capital.

Loan management committee - The project administrator will nominate
a management committee with the required expertise and technical
competency for the efficient implementation of the project and
shall comprise of a project manager, loan officer, field extension
officer, project accountant, and a community leader and/or local

Loan repayment - A systematic collection process of loan repayment
by the cell leader and the company treasurer will ease the
collection work for the loan officer by adopting a process to make
each borrower and cell responsible or both loan repayment and

Loan processing and disbursement - The project will establish
specific guidelines to assess prospective applicants. This will
ensure quality service, a positive impact on the program. All
prospective applicants will receive orientation, training, and
information about the loan program and must have an endorsement
letter to be considered. A specific disbursement procedure will
also be endorsed by each cell.

Training program - The business skill training and loan management
will be offered to all participants and topics will address
specifically in training sessions including: group organization and
dynamics, income generating ideas, accountability and cash control,
planning, costing and pricing, book keeping and records, credit
management/service charge /saving, loan monitoring and evaluation.
The training will also include marketing, feasibility, and credit
management. The training is divided into two parts: training of the
cell leaders (loan committee) and training for the whole group.
Under the guidance of the project, the credit officer and trainer
will plan and organize at least four week training sessions
depending on the needs and skill level of the selected group. The
training will be conducted once per week in each group's village or
in a community building such as school or a maternal child health
care center. This will consist of five training sessions for each
of the target locations.

After the training sessions, appropriate tests will be administered
and participatory methods will be used to ensure that information
is being disseminated effectively and all participants understand
the concept further training will be provided as necessary during
the loan monitoring and follow up activities. The project manager,
with the other members of the loan committee, will prepare monthly
quarterly and final project reports. The project administrator
will conduct ongoing monitoring and evaluation.

-- Budget: A total of USD 88,685 is requested to support this
project over a period of 12 months. Detailed budget figures are
available for additional review.

-- Recipient Organization: The Somaliland Humanitarian Relief
Organization (SOHURA0 has implemented many projects on agriculture,

NAIROBI 00000374 006 OF 014

environment education, health, livestock, human right, and credit.
SOHURA is currently implementing a project to promote advocacy for
law and policy on sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) in Awdal
region. The project includes research, mapping
stakeholders/resources, workshop planning, and drafting a policy
proposal on SGBV and disability law/policies, funded by Oxfam
Novib. SOHURA also implemented a loan revolving fund project
financed by Somali Protection Foundation. This micro credit project
was implemented in Habaas, Tulli and Osoli villages of Awdal

Encouraging Political Participation in Puntland

--------------------------------------------- ----------------

6. The following project is our third ranked submission.

-- Project title: Democracy and Political Empowerment for Puntland

-- Region: All five regions of Puntland

-- Problem to be addressed: There is an underrepresentation of
women in all of Puntland's political and public institutions.
Puntland's first charter, ratified and implemented in 1998,
specified seats for five women in the 66 seat parliament. The
first parliament met this requirement. Over time, however, the
female parliamentarians were gradually removed from the seats by
substituting them with men representing their regions. At present
there are only two female parliamentarians, from the Mudug and
Sanaag regions, who serve in the house of legislators.

In the 2004-2005 presidential elections, Puntland had its first
woman candidate. Though she withdrew her candidacy in the final
stage, she was chosen to become the first Minister for Women
Development and Family affairs. While parliament became less
representative, the number of women in the council of ministers
increased from zero to four (one minister and three deputy
ministers). Women have also become more visible in the current
political environment.

Puntland introduced its decentralization program in 2005 and 20
district councils were successfully formed. While the number of
the councilors ranged from 25 to 45 in each district, women's
representation on these councils was less than 5%. Less than 10
percent of Puntland's civil service are women, leading to a severe
paucity of employment opportunities for women. At the same time,
the number of female headed households is drastically increasing.
There is a critical need to push for increased women's
representation in all of Puntland's public institutions.

-- Summary of the proposed program: This project will empower women
to advocate for increasing the number of women representatives in
the parliament, council of ministers, district councils, and
Puntland's civil service. By training women in advocacy techniques
and concerted lobbying of Puntland's elected and traditional
leaders, the project will encourage increased women's participation
in political decision-making and equal opportunity for employment
in governmental jobs.

NAIROBI 00000374 007 OF 014

-- Project description: This project will empower women to
participate in political decision making processes. Through civic
education, women will be encouraged to make their voices heard in
Puntland's democratization program. The project will help women
prepare for the next phase of presidential elections in 2013.
Women will be trained and organized to lobby the top traditional
leaders and other concerned stakeholders to re-install women in the
five parliamentarian seats reserved for them. The project will
also encourage increased representation by women in all of
Puntland's public institutions. The outcome of this project will
be enhanced women's status of political, economic and social, which
will contribute to the lasting peace, economic recovery and
consolidation of social stability in Puntland.

To empowering women's political participation, the project will
engage traditional elders and key stakeholders, such as the
prominent business persons, youth groups and other key professional
organizations to ensure equitable representation in the political
arena. A comprehensive public diplomacy campaign will influence
key stakeholders. The Nagal Women's Network will design, produce
and stage a package of awareness raising activities encouraging
women's political participation. Specific deliverables include
slogans printed on t-shirts, stickers, banners, and billboards in
the main areas of Garowe, the regional capital. The Network will
launch a series of media programs, including televised debates,
focusing on women's political participation and equal opportunity
within government institutions.

Specific project outputs include:

- Three 2-day workshops to teach advocacy strategies to 120 women

- Development of slogans to be printed on 1000 shirts, at least
5000 stickers and 2000 banners which will be distributed across
Garowe and other major towns in Puntland

- Produce at least 24 radio and TV programs and debates which will
be broadcast on Radio Garowe, Daljir FM, and ETN TV

- Direct collaboration with the Ministry of Women Development and
Family Affairs

-- Budget: The total project cost over a period of six months is
USD 48,850. Detailed budget figures are available for additional

-- Recipient organization: Nugal Women's Network (NWN) was founded
in January 2007, in Garowe, Puntland. The network unites 14
different women's organizations which all focus on improving
women's socio-eco-political status in the Nugal region. NWN was
formed to unify the scattered efforts of the various individual
women entities which share common goal, to strengthen cooperation
and create better joint actions to ease the attainment of the
shared long-term goals. Nugal women network is an active member of
the Puntland Non-state Actors Association (PUNSAA). NWN
facilitates the exchange, production and provision of information
among its members. It has created a space in Puntland's political
landscape for member organizations to advocate for women. The
Network implemented campaigns against the practice of female
genital cutting in Garowe, reaching 300 women and girls. NWN
participated the girls' education program with the Puntland
Ministry of Education, and had a leading role in the 16 days
activism to prevent violence against women.

Training Women for Secretarial Employment

--------------------------------------------- --------------

NAIROBI 00000374 008 OF 014

7. The following project is our fourth ranked submission.

-- Project title: Secretarial Training for Somali Women

-- Region: Hargeisa, Somaliland

-- Problem to be addressed: The challenges that face Somali women
and girls go beyond health, and often arise from a combination of
poverty and illiteracy. Many women are educated, but are unskilled
in areas for them to become gainfully employed. Women who are
engaged in the workforce can often be found in the market selling
vegetables and meat, or along the streets behind green kiosks
selling the narcotic khat. Some will be found in stores and places
of business even though they can hardly read or write. The
professional arena is still dominated by men and therefore is
biased towards offering jobs to men only. When girls cannot find
employment in this already tight market, many marry early or go
through unsuitable marriages purely for economic security. By
offering job training, this project supports activities to increase
the economic opportunities for women by targeting a group of
beneficiaries with adult literacy classes and secretarial training
to make them immediately employable.

-- Summary of proposed program: This project will offer training
and job opportunities for 60 women who have had formal schooling
but who do not have skills to help them find jobs. This project
will be Somaliland's first training of secretaries and office
assistants. After this six month training course, the
beneficiaries will have the knowledge and skills to become
gainfully employed, achieve economic independence and have the
means to support themselves and their families. It will enable
women to become professional office managers who will also improve
the poor standard of clerical work that currently characterizes

-- Project description: This initiative will take 60 women, who
have passed the entrance examination and who demonstrate drive and
determination, to pioneer professional and efficient secretarial
and clerical training in Somaliland. The students will also be
taught about their rights in the workplace, and how to get the best
treatment during working hours. The training will be conducted over
a period of six months in a classroom setting. It will include
internship placements in the offices of the UN and International
NGOs where the beneficiaries will gain good experience in the real
working environment. A syllabus will be developed and provided to
the students and each new skill will be tested.

By training them as secretaries, women from economically challenged
households will learn a useful skill and gain a means to a
livelihood. This project will empower women, hone leadership
skills, and provide a forum to discuss important human rights
issues. This is the arena to foster tomorrow's leaders, preparing
them for professional jobs that are better paid and offer better
working conditions. Women have difficulty competing for these jobs
because they do not have the necessary skills. This project aims to
give women a chance at better jobs by teaching them secretarial

This initial investment will equip and start up a secretarial
training department that will be able to sustain itself thereafter
by charging a small fee to students. This fee will be used to pay
rent, utilities and instructors' salary. In Somaliland there are
many small private institutions that profess to teach subjects

NAIROBI 00000374 009 OF 014

ranging from nursing to English and computer skills. The quality of
most of these institutions is very poor, but they are nevertheless
crowded. They charge fees ranging from $10-$200 a month. People
readily pay for these courses despite the poor quality of the
training being offered. There is a strong demand for skills
training and this project will provide quality training for women
who otherwise could not afford the standard training fees.

For this 6 month pilot project we propose not to charge any fees.
At the conclusion of the project, Edna Adan Hospital will determine
an affordable fee structure at the conclusion of this 6 month pilot
course, after gaining an accurate picture of expenses. This
reasoning comes from a need draw women to this new training and to
encourage women who may shy away from enrolling due to financial
constraints. The project will offer an allowance of $30/month for
each student, to cover travel expenses.

After this initial project investment, the recipient organization
will be able to continuously produce female secretaries who are
well trained and highly sought after in the market. This
opportunity will ensure employment for them and income for their
families, confirming the sustainability of the project.

Participant selection criteria - Project beneficiaries must be
female, 18 years or older, hold a

high school diploma, successfully pass the entrance interview,
successfully pass the written entrance examination in the areas of
math and English, have basic computer skills, and demonstrate
evidence of drive and determination.

The project will be conducted over a 6 month period. One group of
30 students will attend in the mornings, and the other group of 30
will attend in the afternoon, for a total of 60 students.

The women will participate in several modules which include
training in the following areas:

- Computer skills (typing and word processing, desktop publishing,
and database management)

- Electronic and paper filing

- Telephone etiquette

- Correspondence

- Arranging meetings and appointments

- Making travel plans

- Preparing programs and schedules for planned activities

- Taking meeting minutes

- Photocopying, laminating, binding and other office tasks

- Coordinating office activities and staying on top of work in
progress and developments

- Working with supervisors

- Dealing with emergencies

Outcome: 60 women with secretarial, clerical skills, and office
management skills

NAIROBI 00000374 010 OF 014

- Building a resume

- Job hunting

- Preparing for a job interview

- Professional dress and manners

Outcome: Completed CV and two job interviews scheduled

- Rights in the workplace

- Dealing with harassment

- Equal pay for equal work

Outcome: Awareness about labor rights, including harassment issues

- Basic health and hygiene

- Child care and nutrition

- Prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted

- Abandoning female genital cutting

- First aid

Outcome: Improved knowledge about the issues that concern the
health of women and children

- English language skills throughout the secretarial course

Outcome: Improved oral and written English

In each of these training areas, learning will be measured with
written tests, role playing, and presentations

-- Budget: The total budget for this six month project is $42,295.
Detailed budget figures are available for additional review.

-- Recipient Organization: Edna Adan University Hospital has been
working tirelessly to tackle many of the challenges that face
Somali women and which also affect their children. It has worked
successfully with a range of partners and enjoys a stellar
reputation in Somaliland and with international donors. The
hospital has taken the lead in reducing the maternal mortality rate
of Somali women by training qualified midwives, nurses, laboratory,
and pharmacy technicians. It offers one of the best maternal and
medical hospital services in Somalia, especially for emergency
obstetric care and fistula repair. The founder was a minister in
the Somaliland government and is one of Somalia's strongest civil
society leaders and has implemented a wide range of projects to
empower women. The hospital has extensive experience in carrying
out long term and short term trainings for both women and men and
takes a rigorous approach toward its educational activities.

Building a Women's Caucus in the Transitional Federal Parliament

--------------------------------------------- ----------------------

NAIROBI 00000374 011 OF 014

8. The following project is our fifth ranked submission.

-- Project title: Increasing Women's Political Participation in

-- Region: Mogadishu

-- Problem to be addressed: Women's participation in Somali
politics and public service is one of the lowest in the world. If
this situation persists, women's voices will continue to be unheard
and many women will continue to be victimized in society, without
equal opportunities and rights. The Somali Women Parliamentary
Association (SOWPA) formed a women's caucus to address the low
levels of women's political participation in the executive and
legislative arms of government. In the past, many workshops were
held on the issue of women's political participation, but very few
involved Members of the Parliament. To increase the space to allow
women to participate in Somalia's political processes, a
multidimensional approach in necessary, which includes legislation
that provides for affirmative action for women, constitutional
provisions that guarantee women's rights, strategies for economic
empowerment of women, and strengthening women's education.

Women are severely underrepresented in Somalia political and
government institutions. Although the Transitional Federal Charter
requires that a minimum of 12% of the members of Transitional
Federal Parliament shall be women, there are only 37 women out of
550 members - about 6.7% of the legislative body. In the current
cabinet of 45, only two positions are held by women. The lack of
representation is equally poor in the civil service. These trends
and negative patterns must be reversed.

Greater women's participation in politics and public institutions
will help improve representation of women's views and play a
positive role in the process of peace and reconciliation. Women in
general are instinctively against war and conflicts; in Somalia
they often have a multi-clan identity since they are born in one
clan and may be married into another. Therefore, a lack of women in
political and institutional life is causing missed opportunities to
mitigate the conflict in Somalia.

-- Summary of proposed program: SOWPA will conduct a series of
thematic workshops to empower women, within a period of nine
months. Through these workshops SOWPA will reach out to different
sectors of Somali society to identify barriers to women's political
participation and develop strategies to tackle those barriers.
SOWPA will launch an inclusive process to engage in dialogue with
civil society organizations, academics, religious leaders, business
owners, government officials, and media representatives to support
Somali women's participation.

SOWPA members will be trained to sponsor legislation in the
parliament and monitor its implementation. In parliament, SOWPA
members have the ability to raise questions and initiate debates
issues that concern women and seek specific action from the
government. Thus, the association will take the lead in educating
and mobilizing Somali women and men to work for increased women's
political participation. This project that will help bridge the
gap between legislators and the pubic by facilitating different
sectors of Somali society to engage in active exchanges. Like
their male counterparts, women legislators have not been in close
contact with their constituencies, including women. This project
will help bridge this divide.

NAIROBI 00000374 012 OF 014

-- Project description: A key goal of this project is to create a
comprehensive strategy to empower Somalia's women parliamentarians
to achieve an increased women political participation in Somalia.
In particular, the project will identify barriers and strategies to
increase women's political participation, and bridge the gap
between SOWPA members and the Somali public including civil society
organizations, academics, and religious leaders, and identify
potential allies in carrying our its mission.

Phase 1: Setting up the office - In the first month of the project
SOWPA will focus on recruiting support staff, to identify an
office, and purchase the necessary equipment and basic office
furniture. A company will also be identified to construct the
website, which will be used for the purpose of the project and

Phase 2: Public outreach - During this phase, SOWPA members will
conduct six thematic workshops on the barriers of political
participation to identify comprehensive strategies to tackle them.
At the beginning of Phase 2, the Association will organize at least
two radio programs to reach out to Somali public, informing them
about SOWPA's goals and invite the public to engage contribute
their perspectives. The website will continuously be used as a
compliment to exchange with the public.

Phase 3: Public discussion on the draft strategy - During the third
phase, the draft strategy document will be finalized and SOWPA will
utilize the website to gather public feedback. This process will
hopefully help verify the viability of the strategies and will give
ownership to others. It will build a broader consensus on
additional joint activities. The public feedback will inform the
final changes in the strategy, which will be printed and posted on
the website and disseminated to different stakeholders.

Phase 4: Public outreach through radio - After adoption of the
final strategy, SOWPA members will use radio to inform the public
about the process it intends to follow to promote women's political
participation, and call for their support.

Thematic workshops - The Caucus will organize six thematic
workshops with representatives from civil society organizations,
academics, business owners, government officials (including
Ministers, Members of Parliament, senior public officials), members
of independent bodies (such as the Independent Constitutional
Commission and Civil Service Commission), media representatives and
journalists. Each workshop will last two days and will be designed
to gain buy in on strategies to increase women's political
participation. Since the workshops will be thematic, the
participants will be predominantly from a group with common
interests. The six workshops will be conducted in two locations:
Mogadishu (4) and Galkayo (2).

The workshop participants will be carefully selected to represent
all geographic areas of

Somalia. In each workshop, an average of 15 SOWPA members and 20
members representing other organizations will take part in each
program. Guest speakers will also be invited.

Themes of the workshops will include:

- Political Barriers and Strategies for Women Participation: This

NAIROBI 00000374 013 OF 014

workshop will cover the actual political barriers in Somalia. It
will also identify the strategies to help increase women political
participation including passing legislation, constitutional
provisions, civil service regulations, and working with independent
bodies such as IFCC and the Civil Service Commission.

- Somali Culture, Religion and Women Participation: This workshop
will identify cultural and religious barriers to women's
participation. A special focus will be given to identifying areas
where religion is misinterpreted and strategies to address these

- Economic Empowerment and Women's Participation: Participants will
address economic aspects of women's participation and strategies to
increase economic development opportunities.

- Education and Women Participation: Participants will discuss
problems that affect women's education and strategies to enhance
formal and informal education. Awareness campaigns to help
increasing women participation will also be discussed.

- Role of the Somali Women in the Peace and Reconciliation Process:
To encourage proactive engagement in the peace and reconciliation
initiatives. Women's successful engagement in the reconciliation
process would challenge the existing cultural patterns and enable
more successful collaboration among competing factions.

- Media and Women Participation: Participants will discuss the role
the media can play in supporting the cause of increased women's
participation and strategies in achieving that goal.

Project deliverables include:

- Construction of the Website. A website will be constructed to
facilitate communication between the legislators and the Somali
public. The strategy will be posted to the website to collect
feedback from the general public and different organizations.

- Radio shows. SOWPA will organize radio shows to inform the
public about its initiative and invite them to give their inputs on
the problems and strategies regarding political participation of
women. When the final version of the strategy document is adopted,
another series of radio shows will be organized. The shows will
inform the public about the strategies that SOWPA will adopt and
call for support from the public.

SOWPA will hire an experienced team to help implement the project.
A project manager and project advisor will focus on management and
administrative responsibilities while helping to establish contacts
with the individuals and organizations to participate in workshops
and implement other project activities. The manager will draft
written reports on project activities and expenditures. A project
accountant will be hired to keep the accounts of the project and
maintain financial documents and will ensure transparency.

-- Budget: The total budget for this nine month project is USD
55,000. Detailed budget figures are available for additional

-- Recipient Organization: The Somali Women Parliamentary
Association (SOWPA) is the women's caucus of the Transitional
Federal Parliament (TFP). SOWPA was founded by 23 women members of

NAIROBI 00000374 014 OF 014

the TFP on January 19, 2010. While it is a new organization,

SOWPA has a number of members who have extensive experience in
managing and implementing projects with different non-governmental

SOWPA's vision is to promote peace and security; equal
representation of women in all decision-making forums; and the full
participation of women in all aspects of the social, political,
economic and cultural life in Somalia. The mission of the Women's
Caucus is to provide a forum for women legislators and their
constituents to meet, discuss and share experiences to develop a
united voice to achieve sustainable peace in Somalia. By acting as
the voice for women in Somalia, advocating on their behalf, and
through collaboration with others in and outside of Parliament,
SOWPA ensures the development and empowerment of women in all
aspects of life in Somalia, including security, education,
politics, health, human rights, and social development.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Palestinian Ministry of Health: Developments In The Health Situation During The Israeli Aggression On The Cities & Governorates Of The Gaza Strip
For the second day in a row, the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip continues by targeting overcrowded residential areas and neighborhoods, as the death toll rose to 13 citizens, including a 5-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman... More>>

UN: Horn Of Africa Faces Most ‘Catastrophic’ Food Insecurity In Decades, Warns WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday that the Greater Horn of Africa is experiencing one of the worst famines of the last 70 years... More>>

FAO: Warns 90 Per Cent Of Earth’s Topsoil At Risk By 2050
A full 90 per cent of the Earth’s precious topsoil is likely to be at risk by 2050, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO...

Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>

Singapore: UN Experts Call For Immediate Moratorium On Executions For Drug Offences

UN experts* today condemned the execution of Nazeri Bin Lajim, a 64-year-old Malay Singaporean national convicted of drug offenses and urged the Government of Singapore to halt plans to execute individuals on death row for drug related charges... More>>