The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) is a network of civil society organizations from Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Somaliland, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Uganda.
SIHA was established in 1995 by a coalition of womenÔÇÖs groups, with the view of strengthening the capacities of womenÔÇÖs rights organizations and addressing violence against women (VAW) in the Horn of Africa. A mandate that still strongly informs the operations of SIHA throughout the region. Since 1995, we have grown substantially and are now comprised of over 70 member organizations, with Focal Points working out of each of our core countries in the Horn.
We are a non-profit organization, with a Regional Secretariat in Kampala, Uganda and additional offices running in Khartoum and Darfur, Sudan. In line with our original mandate in 1995, SIHA undertakes projects to support the women activists and their organizations in the region. We do so by regularly evaluating and developing novel approaches to promote the principles of gender equality and womenÔÇÖs human rights, as set out in the International Human Rights Mechanisms, such as CEDAW, as well as Regional Human Rights Mechanisms like the African Protocol for WomenÔÇÖs Rights.
SIHAÔÇÖs Current Focus Areas Include:
- Strengthening and supporting womenÔÇÖs rights activism in the Horn of Africa by building a coalition of women and groups of empowered women organizations that are capable of achieving change and campaigning to end violence against women (VAW) in the region
- Increasing womenÔÇÖs access to justice through the production and dissemination of knowledge generated from the experiences and activism of women in the Horn of Africa, as well as campaigns and advocacy strategies to raise awareness about the often-harmful and asymmetric application of parallel legal systems (customary and formal) to women
- Extending hands to women and girls in conflict and post-conflict settings, specifically, Somalia, Darfur and the West Nile in Uganda through the provision of direct support for those affected by the conflict
- Increasing womenÔÇÖs economic and political empowerment by enhancing women leadership, recognition and participation at all levels of decision-making processes
As a regional platform for activists on gender equality and womenÔÇÖs human rights in the Horn of Africa, SIHA has acquired the unique role of being one of the few indigenous networks run by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from across the region. At SIHA, we are very keen on further maintaining SIHAÔÇÖs work to support education on effective campaigning and lobbying to address regional platforms, including IGAD, AU and ECA, using collective and coordinated approaches to create both powerful and sustainable social change in the Horn of Africa.;