“Walking ‘in the shoes’ of the Women Experiencing Violence”
Violence against women is one of the most systematic and widespread human rights violations. It is rooted in gendered social structures rather than individual and random acts; it cuts across age, socio-economic, educational and geographic boundaries; affects all societies; and is a major obstacle to ending gender inequality and discrimination globally.
The United Nations defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life”
As part of its mandate to end all types of violence against women and girlsNAFIS, in collaboration with Raising Voices of Uganda, organized a session in Hargeisa to introduce ‘In Her Shoes”.
In Her Shoes is an interactive group activity designed to give women and men the opportunity to walk “in the shoes” of women and girls experiencing various forms of violence. It is often an emotional and personal exercise that goes beyond traditional awareness raising to provide a direct experience of the realities that women and girls regularly face—in particular, the stigma and discrimination they commonly encounter when seeking support.
The session was participated by 30 members from local organizations whoare strongly involved inaddressing issues about violence against women in Somaliland.
The session run 4 hrs. forthe participants to walk in the shoes of women experiencing violence exercising three different activities. In the first part, participants walked in the shoes of eight women who experienced different violence by reading their stories, the secondpart was about discussing in her shoes by telling in her shoes stories in summary and discussing them. In part three, the participants acted “in her shoes” by proposing the way forward and taking action to prevent and respond to violence against women with its all kinds.
The session was closed by the Executive Director of NAFIS Network Mr. Abdirahman Gaas by thanking the participants for their endless effort to fight the violence against women and in particular, participating such a crucial session to walk in the shoes of the women who experience violence and the difficulties they face when seeking support.
Mr. Gaas urged the participants to voluntarily disseminate in Her shoes with other stakeholders which will help all understanding and feeling how it’s difficult to a women to seek help when she is going through such a painful experience.
All the participants showed a great excitement to walk in her shoes, and were keen on to apply in her shoes approach by using the stories of local women who experienced a violence.