Project: Somali Women’s Economic Summit
Asal combined its research capabilities and convening powers to initiate a bold and innovative initiative called Ardaa. Ardaa’s aim is to expand women’s economic opportunities through the creation of platforms and spaces for Somali women entrepeneurs to organize, to actively participate, and influence decision-making processes. In this vein, Ardaa has already established new partnerships between gender advocates, policymakers, large companies and sector experts. The initiative seeks to disrupt and dismantle perceptions around gender equity as anti-Islamic or in contravention of Somali cultural norms;
The goal of Ardaa is to create a society that recognizes, respects and harnesses the economic power and potential of women.
Delivery & Outcome
- Asal conducted a large scale qualitative and quantitative study on Somali women’s enterprise surveying 950 businesswomen in Hargeisa, Garowe and Mogadishu;
- To maintain ownership and agenda setting power, the project – covering both research gathering and dissemination symposiums – was entirely funded by Asal and the Somali private sector.
- The symposiums brought together executives from the largest firms, officials from different levels of government and Somali business women. These gatherings were welcomed as shifting the debate on women economic participation.
The Somali Women’s Economic Summit – to be launched in 2020 – was born on the back of the success of the symposiums and will initiate the first high-level strategic platform for Somali business women to discuss and find creative solutions to tackle the challenges which constrain their sector and expand on the potential of women entrepreneurship.