Somali Elections 2016

Men made a mess of Somalia, now women want to fix it

AFP — Raped, abused and subjected to genital mutilation, many women suffer terribly in Somalia, an unrepentantly patriarchal country shown by successive surveys as one of the worst places to be female.

A quota reserving 30 percent of parliamentary seats for women in current elections is supposed to help bring change and place at least a share of political power in female hands — but it faces stiff resistance.

“Somali women participate in daily life but when it comes to politics it is challenging,” said Deqa Yasin, the female deputy head of the national election organising body.

“How do you make the process as inclusive as possible?”

Under international pressure, Somalia’s top politicians — federal and state leaders, all men, known as the National Leadership Forum — in August announced the 30 percent female quota be applied to the 54 Senate seats and the 275 parliamentary seats.

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