Telesom Dahabshiil
Published On: Mon, Mar 8th, 2021

The Women Struggling for Justice in Somaliland’s Courts

Araweelo News Network.

Alone, Poor and Bewildered

Horizon Institute

Hargeisa (ANN)-Horizon Institute 8 March, International Women’s Day, is a reminder of what every society must do, collectively, to reflect on the impediments which hold women back from full enjoyment of the rights and opportunities afforded them in law and policy statements.

Wherever in the world they live, the roadblocks women and girls face are the same, to varying degrees — economic and political   powerlessness, legal barriers, unequal educational prospects, discrimination and prejudice based on interpretations of cultural or religious beliefs.

The cumulative impact destroys, or at best, undermines women’s self-confidence, which in turn makes it that much more difficult for them to challenge what they can only regard as insurmountable obstacles.


In a statement issued today, Horizon Institute details how the experiences of uneducated and poor women in Somaliland who go to court to register a complaint about domestic violence, to seek a divorce, to claim custody of children and ask for alimony involve prolonged, demoralizing and expensive processes. 


From its research and legal assistance work over the past seven years, Horizon found women in Somaliland overwhelmingly prefer the courts to the customary system, if only because the courts represent a forum in which they have a voice and can defend themselves.

The harsh reality, however, is that speaking up for yourself in a court of law dominated entirely by men, when you are a woman with no resources, no education, no knowledge of how the courts work and no legal assistance, is a daunting task. It is all too easy to feel defeated and to give up, as many women do after a few court appearances.


Changing the experiences of women in the formal justice system for the better is a responsibility incumbent on both the men and women of Somaliland, with constructive contributions from donor agencies, international and local organizations working in the justice sector and on women’s rights.

It is unreasonable, and unrealistic, to expect the very women who endure the powerlessness and prejudice highlighted above to become the vehicle through which change must come.

Change can, however, come when the focus is placed firmly on the practical measures that can transform the courts into institutions welcoming and supportive of women’s rights to oppose the violence, injustice and discrimination at the heart of many family disputes. Horizon’s statement puts forward a number of feasible measures, including the appointment of female judges, which would boost the morale of women who come to court for family cases. 

To read the full statement click here.

For inquires and comments, we can be contacted via email at

To learn more, visit us at and follow us on Twitter at @Horizon_SL and on Facebook at @HorizonInstituteSomaliland.

About the Author

- #Arraale Mohamoud Jama is a freelance journalist and human rights activist with more than 20 years of experience as a professional journalist and human rights activist, as well as a writer and investigative journalist on a wide range of topics related to social issues, human rights, politics and security, economics, democracy, and good governance. He has written extensively on regional and international events, and has worked Somaliland newspapers, and Human rights organization. In 2008, he created the website #Araweelo #News #Network, and is based in Somaliland and is currently managing it; #Arraale is a specialist in investigating and reporting on human rights, democracy, security, and good governance issues. Contact: Send an SMS or MMS to + 252 63 442 5380 + 252 63 442 5380 /

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Araweelo is an Associated Network News, The most trusted source for news & Political,investigator report,Human Rights Issues,Educations,Social and Democracy ,Latest News Horn of Africa. runs Arraale Mohamoud Jama Freelance Journalist and Human Rights Activist based in Somaliland.

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