Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has launched a national campaign for women in an effort to achieve a 30 percent quota of seats in both houses of the country’s next federal parliament.
Mohamud, who presided over the launch of the “All Women’s Campaign”, said the move will help women shape the destiny of the Horn of Africa nation.
“We want a free and fair electoral process that earns the confidence and acceptance of the public. We want the public to be confident that they are represented by leaders of their choice,” said Mohamud in a statement issued on Friday.
“Our country has unique challenges. We are not yet perfect, but we are on the right course to perfection,” Mohamud said, adding that the campaign is aimed at realizing the 30-percent quota that guarantees women’s seats are reserved in parliament.
Mohamud noted that 81 or more members in the next parliament will be women.
The campaign will mobilize women to register for elective positions and use lobbyists to sensitize clan elders on the critical role women play in decision-making.
In her remarks, Zahra Mohamed Ali Samatar, the Federal Minister of Women and Human Rights Development, urged women to mobilize more female candidates to run for parliamentary seats.
“In the coming years, women will be able to vie for the seat of Speaker of Parliament. The joy on our faces is a testimony to our satisfaction with the achievements made and a victory for the Somali women,” Samatar said.
Somalia is poised to begin the 2016 electoral process, which will choose members of a new federal parliament who will in turn vote for presidential candidates in late October.