HARGEISA, 14 March 2010 (Somalilandpress) – As in every year on March 8th—International Women’s Day—the Academy supported Moonlight Girls Association, a Borama-based non-governmental girls’ organisation, to organise and facilitate a commemorative event for this global celebration at Rays Hotel of Borama, the capital city of Somaliland’s Awdal region.

The event, which has been gaining national significance thanks to the contribution of local initiatives, was well-organised much to the delight of all in attendance. Bands of beautiful girls draped in the national flag opened the celebration with a remarkable rendition of Somaliland’s national anthem.

Awdal’s regional and district authorities including the mayor of the city, Mr. Abriahman Shideh Bileh were among the dignitaries attending the event. Also in attendance were: Interpeace’s regional focal point for gender mainstreaming, Mrs. Nuria Abdi; respected women leaders in the community; women representatives of the three political parties; and, students from Borame’s Amoud and ELLO American Universities.

Speaking at the event, the mayor of Borame Mr. Abdirahman Shideh said “Today we are celebrating women, the backbone of our society.” Excited, the mayor reinforced his point by asserting the famous adage “Behind every great man, there is a great woman.”

Moonlight’s chairwoman followed the mayor’s speech with a presentation of that illustrated the organisation’s activities and challenges faced in particular on women’s advocacy.

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The event was concluded with a debate in which a panel of women—one from the Diaspora, two university graduates and one presently attending university—discussed why young girls are less likely to enrol in school than their young male counterparts. The panel stimulated an active and heated debate on the social, economic and cultural challenges that the young girls in this country face in either enrolling in schools or further pursuing their education.

Borame was not the only Somaliland city celebrating this important day. The Ministry of Family Affairs and Social Welfare (MFA&SW) collaborated with NEGAAD and SONYO, women and youth umbrellas respectively, in hosting an event at Hargeisa’s “Garden of Liberty”. High ranking officials from the government including the Minister of Youth and Sports were among the delegates attending this event.

Celebrations, however, did not stop there, as Hargeisa’s Ambassador Hotel was the site of further commemorative event also hosted by the MFA&SW. The highly anticipated event brought together authorities from the government and leaders of opposition parties as well as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

International Women’s Day is celebrated around the globe since 1977

Contributed by:
Adnan Abdi Hassan
Hargeisa, Somaliland