SWNC Dinner

January 2012

Ottawa, Ontario

Press Release

Somali Women’s Circle Network Calls for Peace and Prosperity in Somalia

Over 70 Somali women with diverse backgrounds came together for a dinner event on January 07, 2012, in Ottawa, Canada. This dinner was hosted by Somali Women Circle Network (SWCN). The theme of the dinner event was “Peace and Prosperity for Somalia.”

SWCN is a network founded in July 2011 by a group of Somali women who are concerned about the future of Somali women and Somalia.

During the dinner event, the presenters had discussed a number of strategic ways of engaging diaspora women to make a tangible contribution to the peace and reconciliation processes in Somalia with the hope of bringing sustainable peace and prosperity to the country. Some of the highlights of the issues raised during evening include:
• Women’s perspective on the barriers for peace. Presenters highlighted how clanism, discrimination, human rights abuses including violence against women, poverty and a lack of basic needs such as free public education and health, as well as security are undermining Somalia’s peace process.
• Improving women’s representation and participation in peace, reconciliation and Somali state building processes. Understanding the current political roadmap and its implication for women’s future participation in all levels of government is the first step. SWCN and its supporters call for an equal representation and participation in the implementation process of the current four-step Somalia roadmap (security, constitution, governance and reconciliation) because “peace process without women is building a house without a foundation”.

• The dinner event participants agreed that sustainable peace begins by healing the nation. This requires that Somalis forgive, while not forgetting the past, engage in healing reconciliation processes, and begin to learn how to agree to disagree for the unity of the nation. Compromise and respect should be at the center of all negotiations.

SWCN encourages its member to engage in raising peacemakers, rejecting clanism, and inequality and initiate conversations and dialogue among all Somali women inside and outside the country to discuss the future of their country. SWCN takes this opportunity to thank all the Somali women who took part of this exceptional dinner and their participation.

Contact: Somali Women’s Circle Network: somaliwomenscircle@gmail.com