Raped, abused and subjected to genital mutilation, Somali women want to lift the barriers that had hinder their emancipation policy.
Aware of the enormous sacrifices they have to engage in order to achieve this, they are putting all their weight in the political decisions of their country. But with a small percentage of women in Parliament, the battle may be lost in advance.
“I cannot change the mentality or culture of the Somalis, but if I have the rules and laws I can implement them. That is part of Somali culture, but it also exists in other cultures. Look at the United States they elected Trump, this is not like the Somalis, we are not unique” said Deqa Yasin female deputy head of the national election organising body.
I cannot change the mentality or culture of the Somalis, but if I have the rules and laws I can implement them. That is part of Somali culture.
Despite international pressure, the quota of 30% of seats for women in parliament is far from becoming a reality. In addition, in the absence of universal suffrage and political parties, the clan and tradition remain at the heart of the electoral process.
“What has worked well is that the political mobilisation of women, political leaders have imposed that 30% of the seats are given to women. Unfortunately, I do not think that we are going to achieve this goal, but we are trying to” said Michael Keating Special Representative for Somalia.
Even if the 30% is not likely to be reached, Kismayo candidate elect, Miriam Aweis a pioneer of the project claims she was satisfied with the slight evolution of the political culture. She welcomes a more inclusive electoral process.
“It was really very important that this elections include women, because that is a way to show that women are important in our community, that they are the vital part of Somalia,” she added.
In intensely patriarchal Somalia, women seek to fix the mess politically https://t.co/Z5LhMxZ2Yj— BNN News (@BNN_Breaking) November 26, 2016
However, the traditional system is still long to be overcomed.
Under the regime of Siad Barré, women occupied positions of responsibility, but its reversal has led to a regression of their position in a society dominated by men.