Patriarchal systems and cultural practices linked with supporting and perpetrating injustices against women dominate most African countries. The case of Somalia is no different, as patriarchy is intertwined with verroneous interpretations of religion and culture, resulting in high levels of gender inequality.
However, efforts by human rights advocates, civil society organizations, the humanitarian community and policy makers, to effect a change in the current status quo are yielding positive results. Nevertheless, Somalia still has a long way to go before equality is achieved. For example, the literacy level for adult women sits at 26%, and the country is ranked fourth globally in the Gender Inequality Index1
. This policy brief was developed
following a thorough consultative process with women, local leaders, policymakers and civil society organizations. It recognizes achievements to date and foregrounds the challenges the average woman in Somalia still encounters daily, offering actionable policy recommendations to ensure inclusivity to boost the attainment of sustainable development
RE-AFFIRMING CURRENT PROGRESS
The situation for Somali woman today differs from that in the 1970s, when improvements were introduced linked to state-driven advancement of women’s rights. Notably, the Siad Barre regime introduced the Somali language literacy campaign and a Compulsory Education Policy to bolster levels of literacy generally in Somalia.
Despite the promotion of increased educational opportunities and options for participation in society, these efforts were not specifically targeted toward women