Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Female peacekeepers serving with ATMIS in Jowhar and Dhobley celebrated International Women’s Day by reflecting on the challenges  and progress made in including women in leadership and decision-making roles.

They also took stock of the contribution of women in uniform in supporting the ongoing peace process in Somalia.

International Women’s Day is observed annually on March 8 to highlight women’s empowerment progress and celebrate their extraordinary achievements, was held under the theme “Inspire Inclusion” this year.

To mark the day ATMIS female troops in Jowhar, organised a procession and performed cultural dances. In Dhobley, they held a medical camp and an exhibition. Women, youth, elders, local leaders, soldiers from ATMIS and Somali security forces and UN officials attended the day’s celebrations.

The Deputy Commander of the ATMIS Burundi Contingent in Jowhar, Col. Oscar Hatungimana, emphasized the need to empower women to contribute to sustainable peace in Somalia.

“Women must be supported through education and should be provided with adequate opportunities to decide what is right and appropriate,” said Col. Hatungimana.

The ATMIS Police Gender Focal Point in Jowhar, Charity  Saluna, called for more women to join peacekeeping and  public offices to enhance service delivery.

“More women in peacekeeping means more effective peacekeeping. We urge our male counterparts to support female peacekeepers to improve overall peacekeeping performance” she said.

The Deputy Commander of Jowhar Airfield Police Station, Ahmed Abdulle Madobe, praised the growing number of women enlisting in the Somali Security Forces to restore peace in the country.

“The number of women serving in the Somali Security Forces has increased. We hope the number will continue to grow, and pave way for equal opportunities in economic participation and decision-making,” observed Ahmed Abdulle.

In Dhobley, the ATMIS Kenya Contingent Commander, Brig. Seif Salim Rashid, hailed female peacekeepers for their contributions to Somalia’s peace and stability as well as their dedication to implementing the transition plan.

“Your resilience, leadership and dedication to the realisation of the mission’s objectives and promotion of peace and security in Somalia cannot remain unmentioned,” said Brig. Gen. Seif.

The ATMIS Gender Officer in Dhobley, Capt. Valerie Shikuku, highlighted the role of female peacekeepers in fostering dialogue, reconciliation and stability in Somalia.

“It is also critical to acknowledge the challenges we face such as discrimination, harassment, and violence. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we call on men to commit to empowering and supporting female peacekeepers,” said Capt. Shikuku.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).

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