Gender as a Tool in Building Peace

Linked with Elmi Asha Hagi Amin – Somalia, with Somalia – profiles, facts and reports, with Save Somali Women and Children SSWC, with Women defending Peace Conference, and with Women Peacemakers Program WWP.

Excerpt: … The Southern Hemisphere has produced path-finding demonstrations of the practicality and effectiveness of gender as a tool in the building of peace. In Somalia in 1992, a national network of women’s social and humanitarian organisations called Save Somali Women and Children (SSWC) organised themselves into the Sixth Clan, and won a place in the peace process as a constituency and addition to the country’s five established clans. Eventually persuading the leaders of the five main clans in southern Somalia to attend peace negotiations in Arta, Djibouti, in 2000, the Somali women challenged the delegates at Arta to think beyond clan boundaries in drafting a peace agreement. Singularly bringing together the warring clan-lords, they accomplished something no one else had been able to achieve. According to Asha Hagi Elmi Amin, leader of the Sixth Clan and now member of parliament, Our purpose was to create space for women in the peace process and to build a bridge to policy.

The Sixth Clan was born out of frustration. Within our society, although victims of conflict we had no voice for the national solution. In a patriarchal society such as ours, women have no right to re p resent their clan, nor any responsibility for protecting the clan. A group of us had the idea to form our own clan, in addition to the five pre-existing clans. The Sixth Clan gave us the first political entry point for women as equal partners in decision making. The women elected me to be their leader. We went to the negotiation table with the five clan leaders …

(Read the whole text of 50 pages, named What Difference does it make? Gender as a Tool in Building Peace, by Mary Elizabeth King, on this page of

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