Somalia: Women Hold Demonstrations Demanding Political Participation

By Hassan Istiila And Julian Kamau

Hundreds of Somali women on Saturday held demonstrations demanding for their quota in political participation in the upcoming general elections.

The women, drawn from civil societies, women organisations, Federal lawmakers, politicians and Banadir Regional administration gathered at Daljirka Dahsoon Square in Mogadishu.

The protests in Mogadishu saw huge crowds march through the city chanting equality logans. Lagans

“Somali women are the mothers of all Somali people including the current leaders, they must be represented in the government in the upcoming general elections,”Jawahir Barqab, chairman of Banadir Region Women’s organization told Radio Dalsan.

“The only way to achieve this is by giving women a 30% quota on political participation,” she added.

The chair of the Somali National Women’s Association Batulo Sheikh Ahmed Gaballe, accused Somalia’s National Leaders Forum of failing to support Somali women’s rights.

“Somali leaders should represent the public and therefore should give in to the populations demand to have women representation in parliament , “Ahmed added.

“Now, even the 30% quota is still not guaranteed. We need women MPs elected in the 2016 elections. All Somali citizens are equal before the law, but Somali women are still subjected to injustice and marginalization in the political arena,” one of the protestors at the Square said.

The Somali government has promised to have the women’s quota on political participation but the women still feel the offer is not guaranteed.

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Somalia’s first woman presidential candidate, Mrs Fadumo Dayib, while speaking to Radio Dalsan during an interview, called upon the current members of Somali parliament to put the interest of the country first and vote wisely in the upcoming general elections since there will be no ‘one man one vote’ policy.

The mother of four who received death threats after declaring her interest in the male dominated field says nothing will stop her from running in the upcoming elections, which are due to be held in October 2016.

“If elected President, I will sit down and talk with al-shabaab leaders in order to solve this problem once and for all,” said Fatuma Dayib.

“They are our sons and brothers and we need to talk to them about this problem affecting us, nothing wrong about that,” she added.

She promised to give first priority to women empowerment and children if elected to the top most position in the recuperating state.

Early this month, Galmudug’s deputy information minister, Dahir Farah Fiidow said that Galmudug has pledged to give first priority to the 30% women’s quota towards the implementation of the constitution.

Galmudug is ready to commit 30% seats for women in the upcoming parliament, he added.

Source: allafrica.com

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