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Somali women step up lobbying for representation in politics

Sunday August 29, 2021

Somalia campaigners have wrapped up a two-day forum to galvanize efforts to have more women representation in politics.

The forum, backed by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and attended by about 90 participants, called for a 30 percent women quota in political representation to be guaranteed.

“We want to ensure that for every three parliamentary seats, one is reserved for a woman. We hope to be able to take this message across all Federal Member States (FMS), “Hanifa Mohamed Ibrahim, Minister of Women and Human Rights Development said in a statement issued on Thursday evening by AMISOM.

Hanifa Mohamed Ibrahim said they have stepped up lobbying during the current election period that women should have seats reserved for them if Parliament is to achieve the 30 percent quota.

The campaigners emphasized that the quota of seats for women was vital to the development of a strong, inclusive and stable nation since women constitute the majority of the country’s population. Analysts say reaching the 30 percent quota is integral to the African Union’s agenda 2030 and its goal of strengthening the role of African women through gender equality and parity.

Muna Hassan, AMISOM Political Affairs Officer said it was important for Somalia to have an open dialogue on the topic of representation of women in politics. “For this forum, we wanted women and various stakeholders to converge and talk to each other since elections are already underway. Our goal is to make sure that women get their constitutionally mandated political representation so that they are part of decision making in this country,” Muna said.

The AU mission has been advocating for the rights of girls and women in Somalia and has helped the government to develop policies and frameworks to ensure gender inclusion and political participation for women.


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