President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud urges women to shape the country’s destiny
Somali women have launched an ‘All Women’s Campaign’ in a national effort to achieve a 30 per cent quota of seats in both houses of the country’s next federal parliament.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud presided over the launch of the campaign on Thursday during a national conference for women held in Mogadishu.
“We want a free and fair electoral process that earns the confidence and acceptance of the public. We want the public to be confident that they are represented by leaders of their choice. Our country has unique challenges. We are not yet perfect, but we are on the right course to perfection,” President Sheikh Mohamud said in his address to the women.
In her remarks, Zahra Mohamed Ali Samatar, the Federal Minister of Women and Human Rights Development, urged women to mobilise more female candidates to run for parliamentary seats.
“In the coming years, women will be able to vie for the seat of Speaker of Parliament,” Minister Samatar said.
The women drawn from regional states, civil society organisations and women’s organisations, agreed to set up a database for women candidates and ensure they are registered for elected positions. In a daylong meeting held in the capital city, the women also resolved to lobby clan elders on behalf of the 30 per cent parliamentary quota for women.
“The joy on our faces is a testimony to our satisfaction with the achievements made and a victory for the Somali women. In this forum organized by the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development, we showcase our acceptance of the decisions made by the National Leadership Forum regarding the 30 per cent quota for women,” Batula Ahmed Gaballe, the deputy chairperson of Goodwill Ambassadors for women, who is also the Chairperson of Somali National Women’s Organisation, told women who attended the conference.
Somalia is poised to begin the 2016 electoral process, which will choose members of a new federal parliament who will in turn vote for presidential candidates in late October.
The conference was supported by the United Nations and attracted women parliamentary aspirants from the four existing and emerging federal member states of Galmudug, South West, Puntland and Jubbaland as well as the regions of Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle.