Public Declaration against Harmful Social Norms - Mogadishu PDF Print

Mogadishu - Social expectations can be powerful in perpetuating or deterring individual behaviour.  Social norms encourage certain actions or penalize those that deviate from common practise.  This knowledge has been the guide in the ‘Communities Care’ project that is working with communities in Mogadishu to end gender based violence.

With support from the authorities, community leaders and other partners, CISP facilitated community discussions where people from all walks of life discussed issues of gender based violence. The interactive gatherings which ran over a 13-week period gave community members a chance to meet like-minded individuals and deliberate on ways to create a safer environment.

The participants decided to lead the campaign to change the culture to one that does not tolerate gender based violence. During events held in April 2015, the 156 community discussions participants made public declaration to end all forms of gender based violence including sexual violence.

The event was marked with speeches and entertaining performances.  A religious leader opened the ceremony after which a representative from CISP talked about the project and its aims. “We are grateful to the community leaders who are leading this important effort; we acknowledge it is not easy.   We are proud to be working with the community members and local authorities who have been supportive,” he noted.

“We must insist on the positive side of our culture and work together to make Somalia a better place,” commented one of the participants.

During the occasion, short plays were performed; they revolved around family interactions addressing female genital mutilation, domestic violence and equal education opportunities for girls and boys.

Artists displayed paintings carrying messages with positive highlights of the Somali society such as, girls playing basketball and cultural events.

Community Discussion Leaders read their declarations out loud and after asking:  ‘Are we up to that and united to do so?”  The members of their groups responded with a resounding: “Yes we are!”

By Salad Ghedi, Accountability and Communication Officer, Mogadishu




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