SGEM’s forum titled Ensuring Somali Women’s Substantive Political Participation & Representation in 2021 and Beyond was held on August 28, 2021. It focused on women’s fair access to elected positions. Panelists addressed the patriarchal challenges that permeate the Somali context and how these can be minimized during the upcoming electoral process to ensure women MPs are elected. They further discussed the main challenges women candidates have been facing and could face during the electoral process.
The Panelists also highlighted the potential impact of the recent decision of the National Consultative Council (NCC) on the indirect elections that gives a lot of power to the Federal Member State leaders and state electoral bodies on the selection, and representation of clan communities for the House of the People, specifically women looking from a human rights perspective. It also discussed why women’s representation in the Somali parliament and other important positions matter from a religious perspective.
Ensuring Somali women’s quota in the current elections, and how can women persevere to gain access to political representation at all levels of government were underlined. In this session, Panelists concluded with mechanisms and strategies to minimize the negative discriminatory impact of patriarchy in Somali society and on women running for elections. Lastly, some of the participants asked questions and made suggestions and recommendations.