Women lawyers make Puntland safer for all

Graduates from a UNDP-supported law degree in Garowe are slowly changing the justice system

In 2008, Puntland had almost no formally qualified lawyers, so UNDP helped set up a 4-year law course at Puntland State University (PSU) and a scholarship programme for gifted students who couldn’t afford the fees.

In this video, one of the graduates — now a successful lawyer — explains why she joined the course and what she does now to make the streets safer for all — particularly women.

More than 170 lawyers have now graduated from the programme, including 52 women (there was only 1 woman lawyer as recently as 2012).

In 2016, Puntland appointed its first female regional prosecutors (all graduates of this programme) who set up a gender desk in the Attorney General’s Office that has increased the number of gender violence cases prosecuted in Puntland.

The programme also offers student internships in Puntland’s legal institutions.

The programme is made possible by generous funding from the EU, Netherlands, Sweden and the UK.