Gender work at UNPOS

Advancing women’s political representation and engagement in peacebuilding.
Since May 2010, the UNPOS Gender Affairs Unit (GAU) has worked to enhance the coherent and systematic integration of gender perspectives into UNPOS’s efforts to restore peace and reconciliation in Somalia.
This is done through Gender mainstreaming, advisory services, technical guidance and capacity building and advocacy. The GAU supports and contributes to various activities on the ground in Somalia, both within the greater UN system and through partnerships with grassroots organizations in outreach and reconciliation, peace building and conflict prevention efforts. 
Within the Mission, we work to:
  • Ensure the coherent and systematic integration of gender-related perspectives in UNPOS programming and planning, including the design of national policies and institutional reforms;
  • Engage the governmental institutions, women’s organizations to deliver as per the UN Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace and Security;
  • Develop effective partnerships with UN Agencies, regional institutions, research institutions and international actors to ensure coherent and efficient gender delivery in Somalia.
We also influence policies programmes and reforms 

GAU participates in relevant technical working groups, High Level meetings including Joint Security Committee meetings, International Contact Group (ICG) and High Level consultations to monitor debates and decisions from a gender perspective, provide technical inputs and conduct advocacy. 

Following the endorsement of the Roadmap in September 2011, the GAU developed an implementation matrix to ensure that Women, Peace and Security concerns (see Security Council resolution 1325) were an integral part of each of the four Roadmap pillars, namely Security, Constitution, Political Outreach & Reconciliation and Good Governance. In October 2011, the Unit also engendered the National Security and Stabilization Plan.

We work in partnership with grassroot organizations in their advocacy work for peace and reconciliation

  • Supporting participation and engagement of Somali women in the political process; 
  • Facilitating information sharing workshops on the implementation of the Roadmap to end the transition;
  • Supporting women's civic and political rights.
We work hand in hand with Government institutions 
  • Supporting activities of the National Women Development and Family Care Ministries in their coordination efforts to respond to women’s needs and concerns in political security and protection. 
We permanently raise awareness on gender issues 
  • Providing capacity building to UNPOS and the United Nations Support Office for the African Union Mission in Somalia (UNSOA) staff to integrate gender as a UN core value in their daily work;
  • Working to prevent sexual violence in conflict, GAU regularly participates in UN Mandatory pre-deployment training for AMISOM troops preparing to deploy to in Somalia, focusing on prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse as well as gender mainstreaming peace operations - essentially integrating women into military and police operations. 

Guiding the work of UNPOS Gender Affairs Unit – UN Documentation

UN Security Council Resolutions 
  • UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace building, and stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and the need to increase their role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution. It also calls for measures that ensure the protection of and respect for human rights of women and girls, particularly as they relate to the constitution, the electoral system, the police and the judiciary.
  • UN Security Council resolution 1889 (2009) complements 1325 by calling for the establishment of global indicators to measure progress on its implementation and for the development of strategies for women's participation in peace building.
  • UN Security Council Resolution 1820 (2008) recognizes conflict-related sexual violence as a tactic of warfare. It prohibits amnesty for sexual and gender violence (SGBV) and calls on the UN to develop peacekeeping tactics and mediation methods to address SGBV.
  • UN Security Council resolution 1888 (2009) strengthens the implementation of Security Council resolution 1820 by assigning leadership, building judicial response, expertise and reporting mechanisms. 
  • UN Security Council resolution 1960 (2010) provides an accountability system for addressing conflict-related sexual violence, including by listing perpetrators and establishing monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements.
Additional documentation that guides the UNPOS Gender mandate
  • The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) bear on the work and mandate of UNPOS Gender. They are powerful frameworks for asserting women’s human rights and demanding that governments and international institutions ensure women’s rights are realized by setting up adequate responses to their needs and protection against violations of their rights.
  • Joint DPA-UN Women Gender and Mediation Strategy which seeks to strengthen UN Mediation efforts in addressing women’s security and peace building needs by increasing the availability and quality of gender expertise in mediation processes; and supporting greater and more effective participation by women at all levels of conflict resolution and peace making including through the identification and preparation of qualified female mediators.
  • Commitments one and five in the “Seven Point Action Plan of the Secretary-General on gender on responsive peace building”
    • Commitment 1: Conflict resolution: more systematic action to ensure women’s participation and availability of gender expertise to support peace processes. This means including gender experts in mediation support teams and supporting women’s civil society peace forums and ensuring that mediation and negotiating teams consult regularly with women’s groups.
    • Commitment 5: Women’s representation in post-conflict governance. The UN will ensure that technical assistance to conflict-resolution processes and countries emerging from conflict, promotes women’s participation as decision-makers in public institutions and that temporary special measures such as positive action, preferential treatment and quota-based systems are used.

Highlights of events and key milestones 

  • September - Somalia Global Open Day in Mogadishu.
  • July - Support to information-sharing and strategizing workshop for the delivery of Garowe gains in Garowe, Puntland, in partnership with the Ministry of Women Development and Family Affairs in Puntland.
  • June - Information Sharing and strategizing workshop for the delivery of Garowe gains in Mogadishu, in partnership with the Ministry of Women Development and Family Affairs.
  • March - Entebbe Consultative meeting, leading to the creation of the Somali Women's Caucus as a part of the Civil Society Coalition.
  • February - Garowe II Constitutional Conference on constitutional affairs, the Garowe Principles and the commitment to a 30% women quota.
  • December - Gender consultative meeting on the implementation of the Roadmap in Mogadishu.
  • December - Signature of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Gender and Development Institute in Hargeisa on “the “Implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 1325” and signature of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Save Somali Women and Children (SSWC) to conduct the“ Give peace a chance” campaign.
  • November - Signature of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Save Somali Women and Children (SSWC) to conduct the "16 Days of Activism" campaign.
  • September - Gender Audit of the Consultation Draft Constitution with IIDA Women's Development Organization.
  • June - Somalia Global Open Day in Nairobi.