This overview by the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) Network will give a general perspective on the current human rights situation of women in the Horn of Africa. The ultimate purpose of this report is to explain that women rights are not an isolated area but are directly connected to the socio-economic and political environment, and are equal to the first generation of human rights.
Central to SIHA and its member's ethos is the realization that women's rights are human rights. This notion is fundamental and revolutionary. Nevertheless, because women traditionally have been relegated to the private sphere and to a subordinate status in society, they have generally been excluded from recognized definitions and interpretations of human rights. This particularly happens in regions like the Horn of Africa where these views are affecting both women in general and the work and well being of women activists and rights defenders. As Margaret Sekaggya, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Right Defenders argued: "This lack of awareness about the status of women is emblematic of the lack of awareness of the legitimacy of women's rights in general"