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28. November 2012

Zanzibar Event Discussion

Women Rising: Tackling Key Challenges in Zanzibar and Somalia

On Tuesday, November 20th, Women without Borders/SAVE hosted the event "Women Rising: Tackling Key Challenges in Zanzibar and Somalia" with the participation of Shadya Karume from Zanzibar and Maimuna Mohamud from Somalia. They were joined by Khadija Mohammed.

Madame Shadya Karume highlighted the particular situation of women in Zanzibar and its society. While the government has made formal progress to guarantee the equality of men and women, there is still a lack of female role models. As in other African countries, women are faced with a certain set of difficulties that inhibit their emancipation. Especially the traditionalistic social and economic structures, high poverty rates and a reduced access to higher education cement the traditional role of women in Zanzibar. Furthermore, socio-economic factors such as poverty, low level of education and a high unemployment rate are a breeding ground for radical narratives and ideologies, as shown by recent events. ZAYEDESA (Zanzibar Youths Education Environment and Development Support Association) aims at addressing these issues on a grassroots level, empowering youths and especially women through capacity building, education and vocational trainings and thereby equipping future agents of change.

Maimuna Mohamud, gave an insight into the problems Somalia is facing, especially in the diaspora. They range from female genital mutilation, issues of reproductive health to violent extremism and malnutrition. Maimuna dedicates her activism to issues of forced migration and explores the importance of engaging displacement in debates such as peace, reconciliation, (re)building political infrastructures and the inclusion of women in politics. Maimuna highlighted that the destitute situation which constitutes life in Yemeni refugee camps, may very well lead to vulnerabilities and increase the openness to extremist narratives.

The event concluded in an open discussion, which allowed the audience to challenge the speakers’ presentations and deepen on some of the points that were made during the talks. Women without Borders/SAVE is thanking all the participants that made this evening a very successful event that provided important insights into Shadya Karume’s and Maimuna Mohamud’s work.


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