by Roda Muse
The Somali Women’s Circle Network (SWCN) held its annual event around the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence on December 2nd, 2017, at the Public Service Alliance on Gilmore Street. Although the theme for the 16 days of activism in Canada is: “My actions matter”, SWCN chose as a theme: “Leave No One Behind: End Violence Against Women and Girls” because of its global scope.
The event was designed to incorporate educational and cultural aspects. The idea of holding the event was to bring awareness and create opportunities for discussion about challenges and solutions to this serious issue. Since the Somali women are an integral part of Canada, we feel that it is our responsibility to initiate a constructive and mutually beneficial process of circle network through events such as this. The speakers/ panelists were able to captivate the audience and collectively addressed issues facing the Somali women. The speakers were :
- Fowsia Abdulkadir who has more than two decades of work experience in Canadian public policy analysis, and worked in various capacities managing files in the areas of program and policy evaluation; performance measurement tracking systems; and knowledge exchange and translation. Ms. Abdulkadir is an independent researcher; and human rights activist. Her research interests can be placed in the international and Canadian national arenas. In the international context, her research interests are in the areas of conflict analysis; transitional justice or post conflict justice mechanisms; gender mainstreaming, and the role of women in governance, democratization and conflict resolution in the Horn of Africa. Current research projects include transitional justice in the context of Somalia’s failed statehood. In the Canadian national context, her research interests are in Canadian social policy analysis and public sector accountability. Currently, Ms. Abdulkadir is a Research Analyst at the Public Health Agency of Canada.
- Abdiasis Yalahow has recently completed a Masters degree from the University of Ottawa in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences focusing on the reproductive health education of health service workers in Mogadishu, Somalia. He is also a youth worker at PQCHC working with Somali youth through multiple projects. Currently, he is an Ocean Path fellowship with the Coady Institute, where he is exploring ways to expand and improve equity with Somali Youth in the City of Ottawa.
- Ayan Jama holds degrees in Political Science and Social Work from Carleton University as well as a certificate in addiction and trauma from Algonquin College. Over the years working in the social services field she has worked with and supported diverse communities: including women, youth, newcomers, people living with mental health issues, people living in transitional housing, people living with HIV, and people living with addictions and trauma. Ayan is currently at Somerset West Community Health Centre where she is the Community Developer (HIV Health Initiative) for the African Caribbean and Black community living in Ottawa.
The Somali Women’s Circle is a network that stands for the empowerment of Somali women’s role in the Canadian society. SWCN also supports Somali women’s leadership networks for peace and prosperity in Somalia, establishes partnerships and support Somali-women’s organizations and activists, that are working to enhance the quality of the lives of Somali women in and outside Canada. Women’s perspective needs to be heard on the principles of inclusion, good governance and justice. Somali Women Circle Network (SWCN) wants to play a positive role in promoting and including women’s agenda as the main focus of its work.