The Ethiopian National Defense forces (ENDF) female soldiers who are part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), played host to their a group of women from Baidoa for an information and experience sharing session.
The meeting aimed at bringing to the fore the role of women in promoting peace was attended by AMISOM Sector 3 Commander Yemane Gabre Mikael, local administration officials, traditional elders, religious leaders, women groups and a cross section of AMISOM officials.
Making his remarks, AMISOM Sector 3 commander urged Somali women to play their part in promoting peace and cohesion in the community.
“Women play an active role in the furtherance of peace. Women are the backbone of Somalia’s life today. We want you to extend that role in order to promote peace and cohesion in the community. That is the only way we can together defeat the threat of Al-Shabaab”, said Commander Mikael.
The AMISOM ENDF female soldiers narrated their experiences and struggle to be part of the social and political development in their country.
“Just like other women in the world, Ethiopian women are involved in all aspects of their society, they are active participants in the social, political and cultural activities of their communities. We know women are the breadwinners of their families in Somalia today.”
Commander Mikael explained how progressive movements in Ethiopia changed the conditions of women and subsequently brought about their emancipation leading to their empowerment politically and socially, the commander added.
The Baidoa Women Group welcomed the information and experience sharing sessions.
“This kind of meeting boosts our morale and reminds us of how we can be agents of change in our community, just like Ethiopian women, who struggled to attain the status they have today,” said Halima Abdi Mohamed, a member of the group.
Meetings such as this one, are used to make women feel confident and initiate their own ideas and practical activities to promote peace in the community.