Asha Hagi Elmi, born in 1962 in the Galgaduud region of Somolia, is co-founder and chairperson of Save Somali women and children (SSwc), a member of the transitional federal Government in Somalia and chairperson of the Sixth Clan, a Somali women’s network. Elmi has been deeply involved in the struggle for peace and reconciliation in her war-ravaged country and has worked tirelessly to carve out a role for women in public life.
When women were excluded from the peace process in Somalia, Elmi united them across clan lines under the umbrella of the Sixth Clan to give them a voice in local and national decision-making. Due in large part to Elmi’s efforts, 22 Somali women currently serve in the national parliament.
In January 2004, Elmi was the only woman to co-chair the final phase of the Somali National Reconciliation Conference and the first woman to sign the peace accord. Elmi was a 2005 women and public policy fellow at Harvard university’s Kennedy School of Government, a 2008 winner of the right Livelihood Award and a 2009 winner of the Clinton Global Citizen Awards.
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