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APRIL 2019 - NEWSLETTER
"Amplifying the voices of women at the Grassroots"
TAKING STOCK AND RE-IGNITING OUR COLLECTIVISM
Board and Staff Members at the Regional Board and Staff h  (Photo: SIHA Archives)
This year, our annual board and staff retreat was convened from 12th to 16th February in Kampala, Uganda. - bringing together members from across the region. This presented an opportunity for all members present to take stock of achievements and pick lessons from the dips during the previous year. 

WOMEN PARTICIPATION IN DECISION-MAKING IS NOT PENDING ANYONE’S PERMISSION; IT IS DE FACTO


The past six months in Sudan have seen women critically engaged in the revolutionary fall of the Bashir regime.  The crucial engagement of women in the recent political struggle in Sudan is by no means reflected in Sudan’s high-level political dynamics or discourse. This dichotomy represents deep concerns for us at SIHA. Women need an unyielding commitment to equality and they need to see their issues reflected in any resolution for the country’s transformation, including demands such as the Declaration of Freedom and Change. 
Read the statement
A FEATURED LETTER FROM SIHA'S REGIONAL DIRECTOR
Some of the leadership of Wandegeya and Naguru women street vendors' cooperatives organized in Kampala (Photo: SIHA Archives)
This year's International Women's Day presented an opportunity to take stock of wins, losses, gains and lessons for the women rights movement in the Horn of Africa. Hala Alkarib, in her candid letter reflected on why it is important to assert and remember the essence of Pan-African feminism; calling for global solidarity and cooperation among Africans nations in order to liberate themselves from racism, oppression and (neo)-colonialism. She also disclosed that harnessing of the continent’s resources for the benefit of its own people will serve as the basis for liberation.

Read the Letter
FEATURED ARTICLE
THE FALL OF A FASCIST REGIME
"We say we want to have a revolution in Sudan; let the fascist regime fall"


First Published onhttps://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/oped/comment/A-revolution-in-Sudan/434750-4959584-laliikz/index.html
Authored By: Hala Alkarib 
Photo Credit: Lana Haroun / Twitter

When Hala Alkarib wrote this article, the downfall of the Bashir regime seemed like a smouldering fire. Months later, the world witnessed a women-led revolution with the climax of Alaa Salah's symbolic womyn-attestation, characterized by chanting protests. 

Read the article
REGIONAL AND GLOBAL ADVOCACY ENGAGEMENTS

SIHA NETWORK AT GIMAC 33
 
Representatives from member organizations of SIHA Network pose for a photograph with Mme Bineta Diop (AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security) on the last day of GIMAC 33

From 3rd to 4th February 2019, representatives from member organizations of SIHA Network (NUWEDA, CEPO, SOWRAG and WCC) participated in the 33rd Session of the "Gender is my Agenda Campaign" Pre-Summit Consultative meeting on Gender Mainstreaming in the African Union, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The meeting was centered around this year's theme for the African Union - "Towards Gender-Responsive Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement".
Central to the discourse was the adoption of policies and measures that prioritize comprehensive gender-responsive local and national refugee frameworks whilst developing gender-responsive sector plans that address empowerment mechanisms for refugees, internally displaced persons and returnees as well trafficked women with active involvement and support of the countries that serve as source, route and recipients. 


SIHA NETWORK HOSTS A PARALLEL EVENT AT THE #CSW 63
 

The panel (L-R) Martha Tukahirwa (Regional Advocacy and Communications Officer - SIHA Network); Hala Alkarib (Regional Director - SIHA Network) and Ramatu Bangura (Programme Officer - NoVo Foundation)

At the recently-concluded 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), SIHA Network organized a panel discussion around the barriers to social protections and gender equality.
During this event, SIHA share findings from a myriad of research around the challenges of  women in the informal economy in the Horn of Africa, which continue to push them to the margins. The work of urban-poor women has become structured into the economies of Horn of Africa urban centers as their economic and social activities and it was further cemented that the women's political activism is vital in transforming their social and economic status - and the wider women rights movement must play a definitive role. 


SIHA AT THE UN TRUST FUND TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN - BROWN BAG SERIES #CSW63

During the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women invited SIHA to the brown-bag event series held at the UN Trust Fund Offices where we shared our successes as a grantee working to prevent and end violence against women and girls in Wau, South Sudan. The series presented an opportunity for us to speak to the lessons learned and results over the tenure of the project  over the past eight months. 
Watch the Live Event here
KAMPALA'S WOMEN STREET VENDORS LOBBY FOR AN END TO SWEEPS BY THE CITY AUTHORITY 

In the recent past, Kampala’s pedestrian walkways and streets in the central business district and surrounding areas have been cleared of women street vendors in a brutal, inhumane manner pointing to the lack of empathy, absence of human rights consideration and a lack of appreciation for economic diversity citing a need for organization and orderliness, in the operations of the city’s governing authority.

Read more
 
THE INVISIBLE LABORERS OF KAMPALA
The SIHA-produced documentary was awarded Best East African Documentary in the Mashariki Film Festival. The documentary follows the stories of Florence, Gloria and Consolata forging a livelihood as women street vendors vis a vis the modernization of Kampala.
#makehervisible

RELEASE OF 4TH ISSUE OF WOMEN IN ISLAM JOURNAL

The 4th issue of the SIHA Women in Islam Journal was released on 17th April 2019 following a panel discussion reflecting on some of the themes of the journal from legal reform to sexuality, and the importance of these debates today. The event took place at the Rift Valley Institute in Nairobi. 

The panel which consisted of Fathima Azmiya Badurdeen from the Department of Social Sciences, Technical University of Mombasa, Kenya; Abdul Noormohamed, a Human Rights lawyer and advocate of the High Court of Kenya and Hala Alkarib, the Regional Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal - highlighted the importance of reconciling religion and human rights whilst bridging the gap between different ideologies.


ORDER YOUR COPY OF ISSUE 4
COMMEMORATING INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY 

ETHIOPIA: Buna Ceremony
"Local solutions for local challenges" 

SIHA Network in conjunction with the Good Samaritan Shelter and AWSAD in Addis Ababa organized a coffee ceremony, l0cally-dubbed as "Buna" to commemorate International Women's Day bringing together state and non-state actors to discuss the plight of returnee migrant adolescent girls while emphasizing the need for local solutions for what local challenges. 
 

SOUTH SUDAN: Prison outreach



The SIHA Network team in South Sudan spent a day with women in Wau Central Prison. The overall purpose of the visit was to reinstate solidarity in addition to providing psycho-social support to the ladies while ascertaining the myriad of challenges they face on a daily basis in order to advocate for legal reform in a dismal setting. The ladies also received hygiene kits and utensils.


UGANDA: Vendors' Celebration
"
One vendor, One voice


The Wandegeya Women Vendors' Cooperative alongside similar organized groups from Naguru and Bwaise organized a fete celebrating their achievements since their inception almost a year ago. At this fete, the ladies also renewed their commitment to the wider women's movement in and around Kampala City, extending out to the national and regional level. 
 

SOMALILAND: Media event
"Women vendors find their voice" 


SIHA Network in Somaliland organized a media presser where women street vendors cooperatives - the first of their kind - from Hargeisa brought to light the different challenges they face on the streets ensuring that representatives from local authority present were able to receive the message and duly respond to their needs - whilst stressing the need for stronger collaboration among different stakeholders. At the same media event, the women vendors cooperatives' leadership received their registration certification legitimizing their organization.  
 
 
GENDER ALERTS FROM AROUND THE REGION 

A SHOCKING CASE OF STONING SENTENCING IN SOMALILAND
In September 2017, a woman with a disability was raped by a taxi driver in Hargeisa, Somaliland, and in fear of stigmatization, she did not report the incident immediately;  however,  in February 2018, she went to the authorities after she found out that she was pregnant.

Read more
 

THE RECURRENCE OF GENDERED KILLINGS IN SOMALIA

In a horrifying attack in Galkayo – Central Somalia (Puntland), Aisha Ilyas Adan aged 12 years old went missing on Sunday 24th February, 2019 – for less than 24 hours and was discovered to have been brutally raped, tortured and mutilated. Her body was found near her house on Monday morning, a few meters away from her home.

Read more
 

GIRLS ARE NOT SEX OBJECTS – THEY ARE HUMANS

As recent as late November 2018, there has been an influx of young women, girls and boys as young as 4 years old who have been raped, gang raped and beaten. Additionally – in recent reports by a number of organizations, it was reported that between November and December 2019 – at least 120 women were raped by armed men. The extent to which the bodies of women and girls have been used as combat zones for conflict is dismal – further illustrating how the normalization of deeply rooted sexual violence has eaten away at masses. 
Read more






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Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa · Plot 3, Katalima Bend · Naguru - Kampala · Kampala · Uganda

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