South Central Somalia

Mariam Yusuf Sheikh was a lecturer on penal procedure law at the national university of Somalia prior to the civil war. She was also Head of the Criminology Department of the Faculty of Law. After the collapse of the Somali Government on 1991, Mariam started to be involved in humanitarian activities in order to meet the multiple needs of the vulnerable people affected by the civil war. In 1996 she cofounded the Coalition for Grassroots Women Organizations (COGWO), is a network of 30 women organizations operating in different regions of Somalia such as Banadir, Middle Shabelle, lower Jubba, Hiran, Galgadud, Bay and Bakool. The network  works for the social, political and economic empowerment of Somali women through peace promotion, women´s rights, capacity building and information sharing & networking. COGWO’s goal is to lay down the foundation for an effective women rights movement recognized locally and internationally which is able to lobby and advocate women rights issues. Maraim Yusuf regularly contributes to publications on the private newspapers of the faculty of law and prepared a booklet on the legal status of Somali women. She has also translated different international conventions like CEDAW, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, African People’s Rights and Child Rights. She is currently the executive director of COGWO. In 2005, she also founded a centre called “centre for health dialogue and development” which is modelled on a twin centre based in Oslo – Norway. Mariam is currently Executive Director of COGWO.

Marian Hagi is holder of BSC in Biology and Home science who has more than 35 years professional experiences in the areas including education, research, peace building, conflict resolution, gender and community  development. During pre-civil war she worked with Ministry of Education particularly Women Education Department (WED) as teacher, trainer, researcher and head of research and documentation section. During post the conflict period 2001 to 2010 she worked for the Center for Research and Dialogue (CRD) as researcher, senior researcher on gender issues, gender specialist and Focal person for Women in Peace building program. Marian is peace and gender activist and during this period CRD had made noticeable progress in empowering women organizations and networks along with other community actors in peace building, conflict resolution, management and local reconciliation initiatives through very transformative, participatory and consensus building approaches that supported local and national actors build consolidated, trustworthy, community owned and sustainable peace building efforts. Marian is also a member of Somali Women without Borders. Currently Marian is for working ODCEF (Organizational Development and Community Empowerment Firm) as research and Peace building Officer. ODCEF is local NGO that provides consultancy and Organizational development services. Based on her special expertise she provides consultancy services to women/civil society organizations assisting them in achieving their organizational goals. She is constantly seeking a creative ways to foster lively empowerment environment for women so as to produce a high quality ladies who could positively compete with their male partners in different arenas.

Fadouma Adan Osoble is an experienced trainer and facilitator specialising in youth rehabilitation and conflict resolution, namely during the Galmudug Reconciliation between Sad & Saleebaan clans.  She has worked all over her native Somalia to promote the creation of both regional and district councils but she has also worked with traditional leaders & religious scholars from south central regions cooperated by CRD, HABITAT & NOVIB/OXFAM.  Previously she has also worked with UNHABITAT through CRD in their decentralization program establishing effective local governments at the regional and district level in Bay and Bakol regions as well training youth on TOT of CRD in collaboration with UNICEF. Since 2007, she has been participating as trainer in workshops and has  acted as a facilitator in WPB programs. Faduma lives in Mogadishu with her family.

Asli Ismail Duale. As Chairperson of Women´s  Education and Voicing Entrepreneurship (WEAVE), Asli brings together knowledge from her degree in Business and Postgraduate diploma in Philosophy and her over 13 years experience in conflict resolution and in addition to peace building. Formely Alsi was director of Gender and Public relations for Zamzam organisation.