Human Rights Award 2014
Fartuun Adan, Director of the Elman Peace and Human Rights Center, Mogadishu/Somalia
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s human rights award 2014 recognizes Fartuun Adan’s long-standing and persistent commitment to women’s rights in the complex political context of a society shaped by decades of civil war. Bestowing the human rights award on the director of the Elman Peace and Human Rights Center also acknowledges that women are no mere victims of violence and discrimination, but socio-political actors, who actively contribute to peace and reconciliation.
Somalia is a fragile state characterized by long-standing internal conflicts. Local civil society actors are key drivers for socio-political transformation. In the medium and long term, they are the guarantees for the end of the political crisis, for social integration and for the realization of human rights.
The Award Winner
Fartuun Adan is the director of the Elman Peace and Human Rights Center. She founded the organization in 1991 with her husband Elman Ali Ahmed, who was murdered five years later and after whom the center is named today. After his death, Fartuun Adan immigrated to Canada with her daughters. In spite of ongoing conflicts, she returned to Mogadishu in 2007 to continue her work for peace and reconciliation.
The Elman Peace and Human Rights Center advocates for women’s and children’s rights under difficult political circumstances. It was the first non-governmental organization providing survivors of gender-based violence and vulnerable women with legal and psychological support, health care and shelter. Furthermore, it advocates for long-term reconciliation and development, and cooperates with OXFAM, ILO and others to support the social reintegration of former child soldiers.
The Political Context
Somalia’s women’s rights records are among the worst worldwide. Especially young, single, politically active and migrant women face a high risk of gender-based violence, including forced marriage, female genital mutilation and politically motivated rape. Partially due to a lack of state structures, perpetrators are only rarely held accountable. Instead, women speaking out about the violence they survived are subjected to social stigmatization. Only until recently, they also ran the risk of being charged with promiscuity, especially in regions controlled by the Al-Shabaab militia. Female civil society activists are also being targeted, especially if they advocate for human rights and for the application of UN resolutions on women, peace and security, and on violence against civilians in conflict situations.
The award ceremony will take place on 4 December, 2014, 15:00 h, at Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Hiroshimastr. 17, 10785 Berlin.
The laudation will be held by Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid.
For further information on the program, please download the flyer.
Further Information: Reasons for nominating Fartuun Adan (in German) Laudatio by Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid (in German) Fotos Picture Gallery of the Award Ceremony Audio Podcasts Audio Podcast on Fartuun Adan and her work (German, 10min18) Interview with Fartuun Adan (English, 9min30) IPG Vodcast »Women's suffering will end« on the situation of women and young people in Somalia (English, 3min31) Websites of the Award Winner Elman Peace And Human Rights Centre (Facebook) Sister Somalia Videos Fartuun Adan: 2014 Awardee of FES Human Rights Award This documentary is also available with German subtitles. Somalia - Interview with Fartuun Adan (2013) FES Publications on Somalia and Eastern Africa Regional Approaches to Maritime Security in the Horn of Africa Demessie Fantaye, FES Peace and Security Series No. 16, 2014 The African Union, the African Peace and Security Architecture, and Maritime Security Ulf Engel, FES Peace and Security Series No. 13, 2014 Mapping »Regional Security« in the Greater Horn of Africa Between National Interests and Regional Cooperation Jonathan Fisher, Horn Of Africa Security Dialogue, 2014 Somalia - The light at the end of the tunnel? Christian Manahl, FES International Policy Analysis, 2012 Boundaries with Issues - Soft Border Management as a Solution? Annette Weber, Perspective FES Eastern Africa, 2012 Sudan and Somalia - Linchpins on the Horn of Africa (English) Sudan und Somalia - Weichensteller am Horn von Afrika (German) Annette Weber and Anja Dargatz, FES International Policy Analysis, 2010