Gender Equality and Human Rights in Post-War Somalia
On November 11, 2015, the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, Global Gender Justice Clinic, Dorothea S. Clarke Program in Feminist Jurisprudence, Berger International Speaker Series, Institute for African Development, Cornell Advocates for Human Rights, and the Women's Law Coalition hosted Dr. Deqo Mohamed for a talk on "Human Rights and Gender Equality in Post-War Somalia."Dr. Deqo Mohamed discussed her work with her sister and her mother—Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Hawa Abdi—to provide shelter, health care, and education to over 100,000 Somali people.
Dr. Mohamed started by earning an MD in Moscow and practicing as an OB-GYN there. She then returned to the village in Somalia that her mother had built as a refuge from the Somali civil war. There, Dr. Mohamed helps care for 500 patients a day at the hospital in the village, which continually strives for better equipment, training manuals, and more medication. Dr. Mohamed is working to end Somalia's food crisis by developing local and sustainable agriculture. She is helping to build a reliable farming system by implementing low-cost and low-tech biotechnological interventions. The Waqaf-Dhiblawe Primary School in the village offers free education for grades 1–7, has a population of 800 students, and has 14 teachers providing lessons in Math, English, Science, Arabic, and Somali.
The village strives to promote equality for all people living there. Dr. Mohamed believes it is very important to instill in the youngest generations of the village gender equality and human rights. It is known that domestic violence is not tolerated in the village: the right to be free from domestic violence was one of the foundational rules at the village's creation.
--Contributed by Lauren Stuzin, senior in the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University.