The uniqueness of the third issue of Women in Islam comes from the fact that it is composed of a majority of original articles, specifically written for the journal. In this edition, you will read about the struggle of women from Mogadishu, Mombasa and Khartoum against religious militancy and their determination to regain control over their lives and destiny. You will learn about Ethiopian domestic workers being intimidated and dehumanized when working in predominantly Muslim countries because of their skin color and faith, and will see how religion becomes a symbol of ethic supremacy. This new edition also scrutinizes the crucial issue of women’s participation in militant Islam movements by analyzing why and how women sometimes reconcile with ideological regimes that subjugate them. The third issue of Women in Islam has been made possible through the collaborative support of Oxfam Novib, Sigrid Rausing Trust Fund, and The Women’s Program of the Open Society Foundations.
SIHA or Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa is a network of civil society organizations from Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Somaliland, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Uganda, and, most recently, the coastal area of Kenya. Established in 1995 by a coalition of women’s rights activists with the aim of strengthening the capacities of women’s rights organizations and addressing women’s subordination and violence against women and girls in the Horn of Africa, SIHA has grown substantially and is now comprised of close to 75 member organizations.
SIHA aims to contribute to unlocking the massive potential of women’s rights movements in the HoA, by improving the capacity of local organizations in the HoA and to build a strong network of grassroots civil society members that are able to interact and support one another in advocating for effective change. SIHA’s orientation as a civil society membership organization is especially important in the HoA owing the absence of an inter-governmental body that brings together civil society. Inadequate integration of violence against women and gender equality into state-level legislation, policies and entities is a common characteristic in Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, and Eritrea. Through direct engagement on project implementation, we seek to better connect our members and work with them see the common themes that exist in their work. In this way, SIHA works through and in support of its local grassroots members in campaigning and advocacy for women rights to enhance the capacity of grassroots women rights activists and community leaders.