GENSOM preliminary findings presented at “Somali Women’s Civic Engagement: Past, Present and Future” conference in Nairobi

On 6 February 2015 The Heritage Institute for Policy Studies (HIPS), Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) organized a conference titled “Somali Women’s Civic Engagement: Past, Present and Future”. The conference was co-hosted by the Rift Valley Institute in Nairobi, Kenya and funded by the Research Council of Norway and the Somali Stability Fund.

The conference began with a presentation of preliminary research findings of ‘Gender in Politics in Somalia: Access and Influence in a Post-Conflict State’ (GENSOM) by Lead Researcher Dr. Cindy Horst (PRIO), Researchers Dr. Laura Hammond (SOAS) and Maimuna Mohamud (HIPS). Presentation of findings was followed by dynamic discussions moderated by Dr. Hamdi Mohamed.

The conference also brought together civically and politically engaged Somali women from Somaliland, Puntland, Mogadishu, Oslo and Nairobi, with practitioners and policymakers. After presentation of findings, participants broke out into three workshop sessions and discussed issues related to history of women’s civic engagement, Somali women’s access to positions of civic engagement, and the extent to which women have influence in such positions.

In the afternoon, a preview of the GENSOM documentary film was screened. The conference concluded with a panel debate titled “Experiences of Somali women in civic and political engagement” with five Somali women involved in diverse areas like politics, civil society and academia; the discussants reflected on their particular experiences in civic engagement.

For more outputs, including a GENSOM conference report and policy brief, visit us again at

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