Empowerment of Housemaid Girls in Somaliland 2020-2021

SOYDA through working collaboration with Surad Relief has been implementing education projects for the last five years for funded by Forum Syd and Surad Relief. The projects also carried out awareness raising activities to the local community about women’s rights to education and participation in the community.

SOYDA and Surad Relief has recognized the absence of strong functional government committed to facilitate the protection and promotion of human rights in Somaliland that resulted in the increase of human right violations and abuses against the most disadvantaged groups including the minority groups, women, children, youth and other vulnerable part of the community. SOYDA and Surad Relief has identified housemaid girls in Somaliland had encountered many difficulties in their lives.  In terms of their fundamental rights and wellbeing, housemaids are often facing physical abuses, discrimination mistreatments and they are not able to participate decisions affecting themselves, also according to the cultural practices and norms in the local community are not allowed to organize vulnerable girls as a group to seek their basic rights. These girls, who are most often from the countryside and have no unions and self-help groups as well as they have little education, they had no legal rights in terms of minimum wages, working hours, or even days off. They are exploited, unprotected and poorly paid. There is a limited media awareness raising about protection and enhancement of their basic rights. Housemaid are not organized to seek their basic rights, most of them have no capacity to handle their problems with little or no knowledge of their rights, leaving them vulnerable to abuse. There are no debate forums that have been organized to display the challenges against housemaid girl’s rights.  They have little legal protection as there are limited (labor) laws to protect and promote the basic rights in the constitution and clarify duties, responsibility and obligation of both housemaids and their employers’.  With this project, Surad and SOYDA want to empower vulnerable housemaid to access their enshrined rights. Through establishment of unions, we want to increase their understanding and capacity in human rights. We want to develop their attitudes, awareness and organizational skills that promote equality. Hence that, this project will facilitate the progressive achievements of empowering housemaid girls in Somaliland for last five years. Surad Relief (SvEO) and SOYDA (LEO) will together implement a project named ‘Empowerment of Housemaid Girls in Somaliland’. The project is scheduled to be started in January 2020 and ended in December 2021.

This project will establish two large housemaid girl’s unions by targeting 600 housemaid girls in Togdher and Marodijeh regions. This unions will represent the protection, promotion and wellbeing of housemaid girls to increase girl’s safe space and enable them in actions to deal with human rights violations. We aimed to engage, stimulate and give participants the opportunity to take action of their involvement on country’s human rights progress actions. SOYDA will set up two large housemaid unions which is voluntary basis in Hargeisa and Burao cities.  The unions will obtain at least 6 capacity building trainings include human rights, case management, sexual gender-based violence’s and organization leadership and management. Also, the Unions will have meetings and conduct awareness raisings with other housemaids in Somaliland regions in order to seek their basic rights together. Also, this Unions will engage with existing Associations and self-help groups, connect to labour laws and other existing international labour organizations.

The project will increase the roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders in relation to housemaid girl’s rights, during the project implementation where SOYDA will facilitate 6 community awareness raising and mobilization sessions through youth groups, university students and women groups in the targeted locations to improve community advocates for women’s right and their access to the social services. Also, project will ensure to release 9 TVs messages campaigns towards promotion and protection of the housemaid girl’s rights in Somaliland and printed IEC material for awareness raisings. Also, the project will facilitate 4 debate forums among the stakeholders to discuss situation of the housemaid girls in Somaliland roles and responsibility of the different stakeholders to intervene

Finally, this project will establish 24 housemaid self-help groups in Togdher and Marodijeh regions to advocate, monitor and report the right violation of Housemaids in project targeted areas. Also, some stakeholders will be organized. Both Self Help groups and stakeholders will be given to advocacy and 12 lobbying trainings and 8 coordination meetings. Then, they will carry out awareness risings to the community including housemaid, housemaid employers, traditional and religious leaders. 

The Project is funded by Forum Syd and Surad Relief and is implemented by Somaliland Youth Development Association.

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