Borne of the social justice movement, the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) Network is an indigenous African women’s rights organisation with a soul. Our organisation was created by women activists from Somaliland, Ethiopia, and Sudan in the mid-1990s. Today we continue to work as an inclusive and diverse feminist women’s rights network that holds a unique position working as a regional civil society organisation in politically volatile contexts. SIHA works in a variety of cultural, political, and geographical environments in Uganda, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia, Somaliland, Sudan and South Sudan.
In this part of the world, women are regularly portrayed and perceived as victims, but SIHA challenges the status quo and the notion that African women are victims. SIHA acknowledges that almost all challenges that women face are based on socially constructed norms and that these norms actively subordinate women. We work through and firmly believe in the collective power of African women. We are convinced beyond any doubt that if African women are given the space, they will drive change in this region and beyond. Defying presumptions about African women, SIHA has been carried on the shoulders of numerous African women’s rights activists and has been sustained by their relentless commitment to their cause. SIHA approaches the struggle for women’s rights in the Greater Horn of Africa as a political one, and as such, we hold our aims of fundamental political transformation at the forefront.