Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mama Hawa - transforming girl's lives with education

Mama Hawa in the classroom.
“Illiteracy in women is the reason why they
can't demand their rights”

Her genteel bespectacled looks belie the steely determination that 2012 Nansen Refugee Award Laureate Hawa Aden Mohamed has demonstrated she has in spades.

The founder of the Galkayo Education Centre for Peace and Development (GECPD) in Puntland, Somalia, Hawa has overcome the opposition of war lords, local leaders and the dangers of operating in one of the world’s worst conflict zones to help transform the lives of thousands of girls  in Somalia by providing education ,vocational training,shelter and protection.

A traditional patriachical society fractured by two decades of conflict has led to Somalia being rated as the fifth worst place to be a woman. High maternal mortality rates, female genital mutilation (FMG), rape, lack of health care and opportunities and poor access to education all mean that Somalia women and girls are extremely vulnerable.