Khadra Hussein Mohammad, 28, made history by becoming Somaliland’s first female National Deputy Prosecutor, dealing with a range of cases including theft, gang-related violence and terrorism.
“You meet all kinds of people in this job. We see new cases almost every day. It’s good that people are now aware that there are female prosecutors. This will also help reduce the discrimination among women lawyers.”
- Approximately 80% of all Somali judges and prosecutors have completed UNDP certified legal trainings.
- 338 lawyers including 89 women, graduated from Somaliland’s Hargeisa University Law Faculty in 2013.
- There are now 75 women working in the legal sector in Somaliland, compared to only five women in 2008.
Across Somaliland, UNDP is supporting a fundamental shift in legal education and professionalism in the justice sector. Khadra is one of many participants in UNDP’s long-term project supporting the development of an inclusive justice system and encouraging participation of women in the legal profession. The project promotes legal education for women and provides job placement to fill the justice sector with qualified female law students and graduates.
After graduating from the University Of Hargeisa’s Law School, established with UNDP-support in 2008, Khadra joined the Somaliland Lawyers Association. This local organization connected her to an opportunity to join a sponsored legal training.
“UNDP was one of the main factors of my success,” she says. “They facilitated my learning and offered me an on-job training.”
At the end of the training, Khadra joined the prosecutor’s office as a paralegal for nearly a year, before being appointed Somaliland’s National Deputy Prosecutor. There are now 75 women working in the legal sector in Somaliland, compared to only five women in 2008. Recently, 32 women have been hired into the public sector as a direct result of a UNDP legal internships programme. They are now serving in the Judiciary, in the civil service, in the Attorney General’s Office and in the Law Reform Commission.
Moreover, in 2013, the number of professionals with formal legal education has increased to 338 lawyers, including 89 women, who graduated from Somaliland’s Hargeisa University Law Faculty. Most importantly, the number of court cases involving gender-based violence or rape has significantly increased since the beginning of the project, “Victims feel comfortable approaching female lawyers. We can ask them anything and they can feel comfortable with us,” Khadra said.