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Puntland youth stand against harmful traditional practices

17 June 2017
Youth standing against harmful traditional practices

Young people in Puntland, led by the Puntland Y-Peer commemorated the Somali Youth Day on 15 May 2017 with renewed zeal and vigour to work towards ending harmful traditional practices including female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriages.

The Somali Youth Day is a day to commemorate the establishment of the Somali Youth League (SYL) on May 15, 1943. The day is celebrated every year in Somalia to honour the SYL members and their key role in the nation's path to independence. The commemoration offers an opportunity for youth and other stakeholders to draw attention to issues that affect young people throughout Somalia and this year the young people in Puntland focused on sexual and reproductive health needs, teenage pregnancies and FGM.

Puntland Y-Peer commemorated the day with more than 200 young people at a function held at Gobsoor Hotel Garowe. High-level officials attended the event from Ministry of Health, Ministry of Women, and business people and women groups. The Government of Japan funded the event through UNFPA Somalia.

“It is a privilege and a pleasure to mark the 74th anniversary of the Somalia Youth League Day. It is worth noting that this commemoration is taking place in the immediate aftermath of the historical the London Somalia Conference held on 10 and 11 May 2017. Outcome documents from the London Somalia Conference recognise the role of youth as agents of peace and development, with the skills, ideas, expertise, and commitment to drive Somalia’s recovery,” said the Y-Peer Project Manager Mr. Liban Mohamed.

Commemorating the Somali Youth Day

UNFPA Head of Garowe sub-office Dr. Bakhtior Kadirov underlined in his speech the need for a holistic and multi-sectoral response to youth programmes and action plans.

“We should strive to respond to a wide range of youth concerns and needs including those related to reproductive health.  It takes a sound coordination and collaboration across all the sectors to be successful in addressing these needs,” said Dr. Kadirov.

He said it is also necessary to also address young people developmental needs related to employment and entrepreneurship, communication, decision-making, leadership skills, critical and creative thinking and the ability to cope with emotions, stress and conflict.

Among the high level people who attended the function was the director general of Garowe Hospital Dr. Abdisamad Ahmed Jama who sensitised the gathering on sexual and reproductive health needs for young people, early pregnancy and FGM. Dr. Jama emphasized the social and health impact of these issues and how they are related with religion and how to address them in to end harmful practices.

 

---Kamal Abdukadir

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UNFPA inquiries: Please contact UNFPA Communications Specialist, Pilirani Semu-Banda; semu-banda@unfpa.org