WEAVE, in Mogadishu, Somalia

Interview with Mrs Asli Duale, founding Chair of WEAVE – Women Education and Voicing Entrepreneurship – a Somali NGO set up in 2008 in Mogadishu. 

Weave a woman's life - this is the philosophy of Mrs Duale; just as women weave the backbone of the Somali economy, WEAVE forms part of the larger Somalia Women's Association which is transiting from humanitarian relief through women's political participation to their economic empowerment. 

Water and WEAVE came together because of the tribal conflicts and many deaths in the family over access to wells – these conflicts dating back several decades ago, and Mrs Duale witnessed them as a teenager.

All women face the burden of lack of clean affordable water, sanitation and hygiene. Well owners supply water, and charge disproportionally for water unfit for human consumption. One week in November 2014 saw 50 people die of contaminated water in a district of larger Mogadishu. The lives of knowledge bearers of (the ailing or non-existent) Mogadishu sewerage and unacceptable water quality were also not spared.

This is part of the context where women water empowerment counts. And that is where Mrs Duale and WEAVE focus on including women and youth in a quota system for Parliament.

So why did they join GWP and the Somalia Country Water Partnership? Mrs Duale says she was able to see economic equitable development via water security as the overall objective. She is advocating for a 30% quota for women and youth organisations in the Somalia Water Partnership.