The changing role of women in Society: A story of Sarah Ahmed Shire

Nov 1, 2013

Earth movers are raising dust rehabilitating the airport road, which stretches from the middle of Galkacyo. The local council engineer and members of the Community Monitoring Group (CMG) are inspecting the work.

Going comfortably about her business amid all the noise and commotion is Mrs. Sarah Ahmed Shire, the Chair of the Community Monitoring Group, which represents the community on all projects and monitors the implementation of local council projects, including the airport road. Earth movers are raising dust rehabilitating the airport road, which stretches from the middle of Galkacyo. The local council engineer and members of the Community Monitoring Group (CMG) are inspecting the work.

Going comfortably about her business amid all the noise and commotion is Mrs. Sarah Ahmed Shire, the Chair of the Community Monitoring Group, which represents the community on all projects and monitors the implementation of local council projects, including the airport road.

“As a woman I am trusted and listened to more,” Sarah says. “The work of the committee has helped to raise my profile. I am engaged with other women in public service delivery. One of my achievements is championing for peaceful evictions of illegal inhabitants along the airport road. Many people wanted to use force, but I opposed. Apart from peaceful relocation, there was also provision of livelihood opportunities.”

The United Nations’ Joint Program on Local Governance and Decentralized Service Delivery (JPLG) works to ensure that good local governance contributes to peace and equitable service delivery in selected locations.

The program, which works in four district councils in Puntland, also promotes women in important decision-making roles, helping Sarah and others gain the skills and confidence they need to contribute to local development.

 Said Abdile, a member of the committee who was also at the construction site, said:

“It’s our role to keep a check on the work. We have a responsibility to ensure that public projects carried out by the local council are conducted in a transparent manner. The chair is always concerned that we may not realize value for money if projects are not effectively monitored.”.

According to Abdirahman Mohamdu Haji, the Mayor of Galkacyo, the rehabilitation of the road and stadium reconstruction will improve public services, helping enhance peace between community members. He said:

“We prioritized the two during the project selection phase. The Community Monitoring Group plays a key role in communication between community members. We are grateful to JPLG for providing us with the necessary capacity building to improve efficiency and effectiveness on public service delivery and enhance good local governance. We have an open interaction with members of the public. The community provides financial contribution towards the cost of road rehabilitation, and to me this shows high commitment on their part.”


The JPLG is a five- year Program carried out jointly by five UN agencies (ILO, UNCDF, UNDP, UNHABITAT and UNICEF) and funded by EC, DFID, DANIDA, ITALY, NORWAY, USAID and SIDA.

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