Knowledge And Advocacy Institution For Gender Equality And Womens' Rights
For nearly two decades, SIHA has been actively engaged in the production of knowledge – through research, documentation of human rights violations, production of films and radio shows, and political analysis. The dissemination of this knowledge, grounded in strong political analysis, is the foundation of SIHA’s advocacy work with state and non-state actors. Documenting the harsh realities faced by women in the Horn, as well as the remarkable actions of women human rights defenders in response, has proven invaluable over the years. Within the oppressive regimes present in so many countries in the Horn, having the courage and savvy to be a whistle-blower remains critical – especially in countries like Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan where SIHA is one of very few with this capacity. SIHA is well experienced at walking the line between security and advocacy – preserving its space to manoeuvre alongside uncompromising messages on women’s human rights. SIHA uses this influence through utilizing strategic entry-points and allying with local government officials. Where advocacy potentially compromises SIHA’s ability to operate in highly scrutinized countries, SIHA collaborates with international human rights advocates and organizations, that are less at-risk.
SIHA places much emphasis on dissemination of advocacy outputs. Research and advocacy messaging is disseminated in multiple formats targeting strategic key audiences. SIHA engages more effectively in social media advocacy and campaigns, where possible and without compromising security or operational space. SIHA also produces more visual testimony alongside reports and articles, such as short documentary films and stories, striving to be flexible to shift between forms and formats based on the context. Through the annually-published Women in Islam journal provides a space for Muslims and non-Muslims from all walks of life to discuss the social, political and cultural challenges associated with the intersection of Islam and gender. SIHA works with with local media to draw press attention in countries where it is safe to do so. SIHA engages with regional and international mechanisms as key platforms for advocacy. SIHA maximizes its observer status at the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) to raise key women human rights issues pertinent to the Horn of Africa.