Somaliland women have a crucial and significant role in economic and social development. Women run small business to cover daily livelihoods of families and as well contribute to national economy as tax payers.  However, miss access to additional investment to grow their businesses due lack government strategy and to scarcity for women micro financing institutions. WORDA works towards empowering women economically through self-employment skill trainings, linkage women to microfinance institutions and creating people owned saving institutions known as Self Help Groups (SHGs).

  • SHGS – Unleash the potentiality of the poor.

WORDA is a promoting organization for creating people centered poverty reduction approach for social and economy poor empowerment by pooling savings as revolving credit amongst them. Since October 2013 WORDA established and still is handling 81 SHGs who compose above 1200 members. SHG is and effective economic development Model that alleviates the poverty and promotes the mechanisms that empowers the capacity of poor people at rights based approach.   The aims of SHGs Approach are to transform the poor as individual and as community who are helplessness to become visible through amplifying their voice and resources for action oriented of realizing their desires and goals. The Process has been designed in different stages.

Stage 1: Individual benefit level self help group: Social and Economic development of members (Individual gain)

Structure of Self Help Groups

SHG consist of 15_20 members, and who are homogenous and come from the same socio-economic background and same neighborhood to enable them to attend their weekly meeting and mentorship capacity building sessions by the community facilitators (CFs) and assigned project officer. 

How it functions:

  • SHGs have lay down their rules and regulation that bind together to feel ownership which guided by WORDA, developed and agreed on it.
  • SHGs have regular weekly meeting with agenda based on information sharing, collection of weekly saving, loan payment and loan (investment) giving purpose, rotational leadership, role of moderator, book writers, regular savings and record keeping, developing loans rules and controls, all members have equal access to loans
  • They have proper credit management, sharing concerns and burdens; they have also code of conduct and support of one another in time of needs and problems.

Stage 2:  collective gain Cluster level associations: Social, Economic and Political development of groups and community.

Structure of CLA:  A CLA is an association of 8 – 10 SHGs located in nearby area (within same geographical area) and working on the things that cannot be done by SHGs themselves effectively.

How it functions:

  • Establishing sustainable linkages with different institutions for need based services
  • Expressing solidarity and mobilizing collective action on wider social issues
  • Support for weaker SHGs
  • To some extent Lobbying with local bodies and institutions
  • Promoting continuity for the program/ sustainability
  • Increased household livelihoods

 

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  • Women decision making participation

The role of Somaliland women in social and economic is on increase and recognizable to a certain level. However, too limited presentation of women in both election and nominative positions because of the nature of clan based politics which gives priority to men.  This is not only a Somaliland issue but it is a global issue that economy and political is male dominated and is the reason for global demand of gender justice and equity on all issues and levels of participation.

To address the issue WORDA is one of the LNGOs, Networks and Activists that rigorously work towards increase of Somaliland women’s participation and representation at all levels through capacity building of women potential leaders, women political aspirants, and women activities. Also advocates for women increase in elective and nomination position through government enactment of affirmative action for increasing women participation in higher levels.

  • civic education on democratic elections

The Constitution of the Somaliland provides the creation and nurturing of a democratic society in which all the citizens have the right to participate in the affairs of their government. But above that, there is limited civic voter education in the general Somaliland communities in particular rural and semi urban communities. WORDA works towards improving the knowledge of communities on their voter rights and their role as citizens in the elections.

 

  • Sexual and Gender Based Violence

Women in Somali society is on the increase with their involvement and contribution to socio-economic development of the country in general and family building in particular, nevertheless, women face isolation when comes to seek their rights which is subordinated by male dominated cultural norms. Even the social norms limit the participation of women in decision making levels. To address gender issue had always commanded argument in Somali society.  It is regarded as a taboo subject by the overwhelming population and one that most people would rather not talk about it and that is the major reason gender based violence is highly existed in Somaliland.  Above all there is existence of silence and phobia particularly the voiceless population. The silence and phobia to report the abuse is related to assumption for protection and keeping dignity and honor of the person and the family in accordance to social norms and values. This good norms and values for protection contradicts efforts for ending or reducing GBV because perpetrators continued their violation habitual particularly rape.   To make a change on reduction of GBV WORDA takes role in the advocacy, community awareness and education initiative for addressing GBV. This is done through creation of local community SGBV response groups, SGBVs case referral, counseling and support advocacy for Anti SGBV policy and law and its implementation.

  • Female Genital Mutilation – FGM/C

Female genital mutilation is a long lasted traditional practice which existed for centuries and it exists in different parts of world particularly Africa and Asia. Somaliland is one of the countries that FGM existed historically and nearly every Somaliland girl undergoes FGM between the ages of six and twelve. About 98 -99% percent of girls either in rural or urban have FGC either known SUNNA which refers of cutting partial or all of clitoris or pharaonic which refers cutting the major part of their external genitals and the remaining skin stitched together. FGC puts children at risk of life threatening complication at the time of procedures as well as health problems on sexual reproductive rights of women that remain with their life cycle. 

FGM is regarded as a national issue and its major focus is to utilize holistic approach where government and CSOs work together since it is a deep rooted practice.  WORDA is one of the potential organizations that works towards enhancing spaces for community dialogues on understanding the problems and complications of FGM/C and put in place agreed measures with family level FGM/C practice decision makers for saving and protecting girl child from FGM/C. 

 Increase Women Participation and Civic Education Project funded by NED.

It is 1 a year project started February 2016 and will end January 2017. This project aims at tackling a myriad of obstacles encountered by Women candidates during 2005 parliamentary and 2012 local council elections such as: Not having resources to campaign, men not accepting women candidacy, and women being new to political arena and clan role. Women also mistrust politics, their being disorganized, being discriminated against and their political role not recognized by political parties. To improve women political participation in Somaliland there is need for a comprehensive awareness raising, voter and civic education. To achieve this, the project shall give great focus on civic and voter education to rural and grass root women while building and improving women candidates potentially in campaign for confidence to equally compete with men during elections.

 

.Amplify voice of CSOs on gender based violence in Somaliland Project

Amplify voice of CSOs is a capacity building project of PROGRSSIO funded by Amplify change it is a 2 year project started December 2015 and will end November 2017. WORDA is a counterpart of PROGRESSIO and its role is to link and coordinate all the capacity promotion activities of the benefiting organizations and PROGRESSIO, as well facilitate and conduct coalition meetings and advocacy and people awareness building publications and activities.

The project aims at 2 inter folding objectives:

  1. Capacity building in conducting evidence based research through mentorship and guidance of Progression DW hired for research and DW for high level policy advocacy skills building of 12 local CSOs
  2. Strengthening CSOs Advocacy through coalition building with needed skills in evidence gathering and advocacy for change by the 12 benefiting organizations.

 SHG (Self Help Groups) – Danwadaag

WORDA is running SHGs program (Danwadaag) which is an approach for unleashing the potentiality of poor people through establishment of small groups of 15 – 20 members who initiating their own saving and investment through set out criteria and rules. Since 2013 WORDA created 58 SHGs with membership 780 persons and established 3 CLAs of 23 SHGs. This approach is establishment of peoples’ owned institutions to address social, economic and political issues that concerns as a voiceless marginalized sectors of the population.

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