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Lower House Elections: Concern about the lack of achieving 30 % quota for women


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

To: His Excellency Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gas, President of Puntland State

      His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed Islaam (Madoobe), President of Jubaland State

      His Excellency Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, President of South West State

      His Excellency Abdikarim Guled, President of Galmudug State

      His Excellency Ali Abdullahi Osoble, President of Hirshabelle State

      Federal Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (FIEIT)

      State Indirect Electoral Implementation Team (SIEIT)

    Honorable135 Traditional Elders allocating seats for their respective clan/subclan members

Dear Excellencies,

Somali Gender Equity Movement (SGEM), and other women advocates, activists, candidates, and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), are gravely concerned about the lack of achieving the 30% quota for women in the Lower House of the Federal Parliament. In total, 137 Members of Parliament (MPs) were elected out of the 275, but as of today only 24 female MPs have been elected out of the expected 82 seats apportioned for women. To date, 17% out of the 30% seats reserved for women are elected. 

SGEM wishes to express its deep concerns about the barriers to women’s political participation in the current indirect electoral processes. It is demoralizing to see this persistent negative attitude, which oftentimes seems to deliberately block Somali women from getting the 30 percent quota. It is important to note, that these barriers are in clear violation of article 5.2 of the National Leaders Forum’s September 2016 statement, which clearly stipulates, “If a clan has three (3) seats in the House of the People, one of these seats should be contested exclusively by the women of that clan.”

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Some States are about to wrap up their electoral process, SGEM urges immediate action to be taken in order to realize the 30% quota for women. Dear excellencies, we, SGEM members, urge you to respect the National Leaders Forum’s agreement, and ensure that there are 30% seats reserved for women candidates to compete among themselves, and those who violate and exploit the process are held accountable.

SGEM, a nonpartisan global movement of 9,000 Somali women across the country and the diaspora, is united to advocate for women’s political participation in Somalia. Its mission is to sustain the movement domestically and internationally, and to promote social and political equity for Somali women in the public decision making arena in 2016 and beyond. SGEM aims to pave the way for a minimum of 40% female representation in public  offices.

SGEM would strongly recommend that:

•        There should be 30% seats that earmarked for women, and only women are to compete for these seats amongst themselves;

•        There should be enough lead time for the announcement of the scheduling of the election sessions for each of the remaining seats to ensure women’s equal participation; and

•        FIEIT should hold communities accountable and ensure the implementation of article 5.2 of the NLF: “If a clan has three (3) seats in the House of the People, one of these seats should be contested exclusively by the women of that clan.”

Sincerely,

Somali Gender Equity Movement Board of Trustee



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