Somalia’s top political decision-making forum has been lauded for endorsing a 30 percent parliamentary quota for women in the forthcoming general elections.
Earlier this week, the National Leadership Forum (NLF), which brings together top leaders from both federal and regional governments, endorsed the quota of special seats for women in both the Senate and Parliament (The House of the People), and urged those involved in the electoral process to ensure the decision is implemented.
Speaking at a women’s forum on Friday, Minister of Women and Human Rights, Zahra Mohamed Ali Samatar, termed the resolution as a milestone in the political development of the country.
“The final decision that has come out of the NLF is that Somali women will have 30 percent of the seats in parliament, both in the Upper House and Lower House,” Samatar said.
NLF agreed that each of the four clans in Somalia will be required to produce 18 female members for the Lower House while the smaller clans will be allocated nine seats.
It also resolved that the election of the Upper House be conducted in the regional state parliaments.
The Deputy Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Lydia Wanyoto, called on Somali women to seize the opportunity and expand their role in politics.
“This is the moment that the Somali women cannot miss. The clock is ticking. They should stand up and be counted,” Wanyoto said.
The meeting of the political leaders was held after Somalia released a timetable for the 2016 electoral process.
Somalia will choose a new federal parliament between Sept. 24 and Oct. 10 and a new president by Oct. 30.