n Conflict Trends - Women building peace : Somali women in Puntland and Somaliland

Volume 2009, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


Since the collapse of Somalia in the early 1990s following a protracted civil war, all Somali people have been profoundly affected. They have lost loved ones, their limbs, livelihoods, access to essential services, their properties and state protection, and have been forcibly displaced. In addition, women and girls have experienced gender-based violence, usually rape. Despite the negative ramifications of state collapse and the armed violence, women in Puntland and Somaliland have responded creatively to the violence, and have taken actions to stabilise the lives of their war-affected people and build peace in their respective communities. Anderson describes the importance of women's contributions in resolving conflicts, pointing out that "they are frequently the first to take the risks necessary to promote dialogue across divided communities and move towards reconciliation". This has certainly been the case for women in both Puntland and Somaliland, who have made important contributions to peacebuilding.

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