Pamoja Gender and Youth Initiative – PAGEYI

YOUTH, CULTURE AND GOVERNANCE

Pageyi Children

At Pamoja Gender & Youth Initiative , we believe that good governance around the region must be alive to the fact that unemployment and lack of meaningful engagements for the youth leads them to substance abuse, crime, and sometimes even violent extremism. Coupled by the fact that these young people  are from disadvantaged backgrounds they are prone to lose faith and interest in governance and erode their beautiful culture for a fantasy life.

Linking good governance to sustainable human development, emphasizing principles such as accountability, transparency, participation and the enjoyment of human rights, PAGEYI promotes participation, engagement and empowerment opportunities, advice &guidance, training& education, alongside more unique opportunities such as International Youth Exchanges, skills development through sport, art, culture and Youth Citizenship to promote multi-cultural, diverse events and exchanges through exhibitions, celebrations, education programs and international links that lead to a sustained development.

The program advocates for extensive civic education and sustained information, reorientation of the national psyche and increased public participation in governance among the youth. To this end, PAGEYI will play a critical role not only in promoting an aggressive discourse aimed at re-configuring the social roles and responsibilities of the youth in the country but also in strengthening the capacity of the youth to mobilize and organize to meaningfully participate in governance.

The federal government of Somalia has shown their willingness to support women participation in decision-making.  Pamoja Gender & Youth Initiative aims to build on their achievements to address gender imbalances in the Somali society by responding to the acute challenges faced by Somali women today. There is the need to strengthen women’s representation and participation in public decision-making processes rendering them more inclusive.

There is dire need to engage community structures to transform negative traditions which limit women’s and girls’ rights while addressing challenges of limited capacity and insecurity all of which adversely affect women’s ability to voice out their concerns, put forward their agenda, negotiate their interests, claim their rightful space in society and enhance their access to income-generating resources and opportunities.

Somalia is ranked among the bottom five countries in the Gender Equality Index and the Human Development Index. Approximately 1 in 16 women reportedly die in childbirth, and 10 percent die before the end of their reproductive years. Female genital mutilation is widespread within the societies in Somalia and is one of the deeply embedded negative cultures that have been forced upon women. Sexual violence is prevalent in Somalia and many assaults especially perpetrated by men in uniform.

A combination of harmful social norms and coping strategies in the face of poverty leads to widespread early marriage, research showing that close to 40% of Somali women were married before the age of 18. For the lives of Somali women and youth to improve, they must have more control over their own lives and input into the decisions that affect them. For Somali women, the times are changing. There is a change in tides and there is a possibility for better things in the near future.

PAGEYI believes that good governance around the region must be alive to the fact of youth bulges that occasion unemployment and lack of meaningful engagements for the youth. Coupled by the fact that these youths are people from disadvantaged backgrounds they are prone to and at risk of partaking in crime, lose interest in governance and erode their beautiful culture for a fantasy life.

Intervention Strategy

Linking good governance to sustainable human development, emphasizing principles such as accountability, transparency, participation and the enjoyment of human rights, PAGEYI promotes participation, engagement and empowerment opportunities, advice &guidance, training& education,< alongside more unique opportunities such as International Youth Exchanges, skills development through sport, art, culture and Youth Citizenship to promote multi-cultural, diverse events and exchanges through exhibitions, celebrations, education programs and international links that lead to a sustained development.

About women empowerment, the following are issues that need to be in place:

  • Change in social norms and ending female genital mutilation and child, early and forced marriage.
  • The voices of women should be heard and respected. Participation in decision-making is not just
    important to change laws and improve access to services; women invisible political and social
    positions can change social norms and raise opportunities for women’s greater involvement and
    influence, in all sectors of life

Women, girls’ position, and life prospects are therefore hugely dependent on rigid male hierarchies in family, social and clan setting. Secular, customary and sharia laws are part of the rigid patriarchal social norms and legal systems that contribute to the constraining of women’s rights as the right to property and access to assets. As in the corporate world, women in Somalia are given job positions as secretaries or office cleaners, with none in senior management positions. Reasons as to why traditional elders expect women to obey decisions made by men include the belief that women’s place is in the home as housewives and children bearers; women are not strong enough to defend clan interests; women are unwise and lack experience in decision-making, so they can’t contribute to political leadership.

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