|Asha Hagi Elmi|
Somalia has suffered through years of conflict between clans, lawlessness, failed peace talks and a current transitional government fighting for control. However, through it all, Asha Elmi maintains that Somalis must take responsibility and the first steps to invest in their future.
Her mission is restoring order and creating a stable government in Somalia. She is a member of Somalia's transitional parliament and heads the first and only clan made up of women. It is considered the sixth clan since there are five major clans in Somalia.
The uniqueness of her clan is that the women are from the different Somali clans that fight for dominance. It crossed the clan lines. Asha understood the effects of conflict between clans because like many Somalis she married outside her clan. Neither her birth or married clan accepted her. She says she realized that the only full identity she had, was her womanhood identity. The road to peace has been long and dangerous of this mother of four.
|Voiceless women need to be heard|
In 1992 Asha Hagi and her husband founded Save Somali Women and Children (SSWC) while living in Nairobi, Kenya. The purpose of the organization was to advocate for equal rights for women in politics. This was and continues to be a difficult endeavor considering Somalia is a muslim country and in particular women are considered second class citizens.
In 2000 the Sixth Clan secured 25 assembly seats (10% of the Transitional National Government). For the first time in Somali history women officially had a voice. Asha Hagi called it a "total revolution".
After several more peace talks and a reconciliation retreat, Asha made history by being the first woman to sign a peace accord in Somali on January 29, 2004. The women also made another significant gain as their role in government increased to 12 percent of parliament's seats.
In 2005, Asha's name was included in the list of "1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize". Unfortunately her name also topped the warlords' hit list. She has refused to let this terrifying designation deter her. She continues to fight for a restored and stable Somalia.