Haweenka – Somali Women in Decision-making is a three-year project that takes place in southwestern Somalia. The purpose of the project is to provide local women a good understanding of women’s rights and skills to influence and participate in decision making as well as in peace promotion. The project focuses on local standpoint since it is the local reality that has the biggest influence to women’s everyday lives. In the long run, the project strives to increase gender equality and democracy in Somalia.

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The project begun as a pilot in 2014 with training seminars and planning the content of the following three years. 15 of the women participating in the training during the pilot project were chosen to work as focal points in different towns. Focal points are responsible for initiating local women’s groups and educating them about women’s rights and women’s participation in decision making. The women’s groups will carry out local activities, which include meeting with the local authorities, the elders and religious leaders. The groups also launched a Vote for a woman! -campaign before the federal elections in 2016.


The project is carried out in cooperation with WILPF Finland and Banadir Women Development Organization.

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