Deqa Yasin

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Deqa Yasin is a Human Rights Advocate and Social Justice Activist, specifically in the areas of gender equality, women‘s empowerment, disability, children and minority rights.

Deqa served as Minister of Women and Human Rights Development of the Federal Republic of Somalia between 2017 and 2020. In her capacity as minister, she, inter alia, led Somalia in the ratification process of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). She organized women from across the country to develop the Somali Women’s Charter, a first for Somalia. Deqa also initiated numerous legislations designed to uphold and protect the rights of vulnerable groups. She actively participated in the advancement of global norms, standards and policies on human rights and conflict and fragility in her capacity as a member of the World Bank Group’s first strategy for Fragility, Conflict, and Violence Sounding Board. She was also part of the advisory team for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) study on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations.

Prior to her appointment as Minister, she was the Deputy Chair of the Federal Indirect Election Implementation Team (FIET) in Somalia in the 2016 Indirect Election. In her capacity as Deputy Chair, she contributed to the increased representation of women in the two houses of the 10th parliament from 14% in 2012 to 25%.  Before assuming public office in 2016, Deqa worked as the Operations Manager of IIDA Women’s Development Organization (IIDA), a leading civil society organisation promoting peacebuilding, women’s empowerment, and human rights in Somalia established in 1991. It was during her work with IIDA that she represented Somali civil society in the New Deal for Somalia. Before returning to Somalia, Deqa worked as a civil servant in Canada; she also worked as a cultural mediator, researcher and Youth Center coordinator in Italy, where she collaborated closely with trade unions on migrant workers’ human rights issues.

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