Somalia | Times Of Sudan
Voices are being raised in Somalia calling for a greater role for women in the political arena, while female candidates and activists are concerned about a set of obstacles that still hinder their path to a better situation and greater equality.
Amina Mohamed Abdi, one of the most vocal critics of the Somali government, first ran for Parliament in 2012, when she was 24 years old. They asked her, “Do you want to be a prostitute?” “How can a woman represent a tribe?” Amina Abdi insisted, and said, “A tribe is not made up of men only.”
Amina won, becoming one of the few women representing the people. Currently, Amina, 32, was running for a third term in the postponed elections.
But it was not easy at all in a country torn by conflict, in which men dominate politics. Usually, tribal sheikhs decide who will enter parliament, and few believe that women should participate in political action.
Many female candidates find it difficult to succeed under the Farmajo regime, which is dominated by the clan.
For example, women are seen as less competent than men in terms of power and from a financial perspective, and the other issue is that some clans exert pressure on their traditional sheikhs to favor men in elections.
Many obstacles for Somali women
Great obstacles that ambitious Somali women face in the political arena in Somalia, and the endless challenges that women face are mainly the endless conflict in Somalia and the lack of peace and stability, but also Al-Shabaab terrorists who attack any development and democratic processes and attack Somali women, including pregnant women.
Another factor is the lack of funding for many women with political ambitions, so that anyone running for a seat in the Somali parliament with both chambers must pay registration fees ranging from € 8,200 to € 16,400.
Women often find it difficult to obtain such amounts compared to men, who are more likely to receive money from clan members and companies.