A phenomenal Woman who challenged the Status Quo in Somalia- Mrs. Seynab Osman Hassan
Mareeg.com-Seynab Osman Hassan (Seynab Atto) is the second child in her family and was born in Mogadishu, Somalia where she studied her primary and secondary school. At her second year of studying Economics at a University in Mogadishu, she dropped out to be married and moved to Abudabi, UAE with her husband. She got 7 children, 4 girls and 3 boys during this marriage but unfortunately, she got separated from the husband and returned back to Somalia in 2006.
As soon she arrived, she was astonished and disturbed by the dire situation that she witnessed especially of women who suffered from their rights being abused and violated and needed support.
After an assessment of the situation, she immediately contacted her 2 friends from the United States and Canada and explained to them the situation in great details with lots of grieve. Since she had decided to stay behind, in Somalia, she convinced her friends to support her start up a Nonprofit (NGO) in Mogadishu to help relieve the women and girls of their suffering.
Seynab established here NGO in Mogadishu and later set up offices in almost all districts in South Central including Bakol, Kismayo, Baidoa among others. The NGO, Women Initiative for Society Empowerment (WISE) was operational for a period of two years, from 2008-2010 but was closed after insurgents increased their presence in the towns she was working in due to security concerns.
Later that year, she moved to Galkayo (South) town whilst full of doubts, however hopeful that things would work out. While in Galkayo, she kept in touch with her 2 friends and always updated them on her situation and what she saw in the new town. After 3 months, she had already started locally integrating with the host community and she realized that the situation of women and girls was the same as that in Mogadishu and thought of ways she can come in and intervene to fight for women’s rights.
Fortunately, the mayor of the town resigned at that time and the position was vacant. She talked and discussed with the community and informed them of her passion for supporting women and girls and through her words, some community members shared her views to the President of Galmudug State (MR. Mohamed Ahmed Ali) at that time, who was impressed with her commitment of being able to prioritize the needs of the community and more so being proactive. He immediately appointed her as the new mayor of South Galkayo.