Somalia: UN welcomes announcement on women’s representations for remaining Senate seats in Jubaland


During a visit to Kismayo, southern Somalia, a senior United Nations official today welcomed Jubaland’s announcement that elections for the remaining four seats of his upper house representation will be held shortly – and that the representation of women would be included.

“One of the issues I wanted to raise with Her Excellency was the issue of women’s participation in the Upper House process,” said UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia Anita Kiki Gbeho, referring to his planned meeting with the President of Jubaland. Ahmed Mohamed Islam ‘Madobe’ earlier Tuesday.

“He got ahead of me. He announced – we are very happy to have heard the news this morning – that two seats will be reserved for women, and out of the two remaining seats, a woman will be competing for one of the seats. So good news coming from Jubaland this morning, “she added.

The UN official was on an introductory visit – his first to the Southern Federal Member State – to meet with Jubaland leaders, as well as election officials, including the chairman of the Election Implementation Team of the State (SEIT), Siyad Mohamed Mursal, and representatives of civil society. The ongoing elections in the country were a key topic on its agenda.

“It is important, since I am here to serve Somalia, that I go around and understand the different regions and understand what is important to them,” Ms. Gbeho said. “It’s a time when we’re right in the middle of the [electoral] process, and we wanted to make sure the upper house process is finalized here in Jubaland, and then we go to the lower house process. “

Jubaland was the first of Somalia’s federal member states to start holding upper house elections. Four seats had already been filled and the administration announced Tuesday morning that the elections for the remaining four seats in the Upper House would be concluded on Thursday.

Change of focus

The country’s international partners had previously stressed the need to quickly complete the election of the remaining seats in the upper house in order to allow electoral attention to shift to the next phase of the federal elections, those of the known lower house. under the name of the People’s House.

In her comments in Kismayo, the UN Deputy Special Representative echoed points from the international community and noted that lessons could be learned.

“That means he can go ahead and start [the Lower House elections]”Ms. Gbeho said.” We know that for Somalia it will not be an easy process, we have seen the process for the upper house elections, we have seen some of the comments that have come. But if we consider the glass to be half full, then we could learn from the upper house process and use it to influence the lower house process. “

Somalia’s international partners have also called on the country’s leaders to ensure that electoral processes respect the right of women to participate fully in all aspects of public life and that the minimum quota of 30% female representation be reached in Parliament.

“Women make up 50% of the population – if you go ahead with half of your population unrepresented, speechless, speechless, I dare imagine that you are unlikely to find solutions to the problem, and the government – this life of service is about people – it is about building Somalia, “said the UN Deputy Special Representative.

“So if you don’t have Somalis at the table or if you have half the population missing when you are making decisions,” she continued, “when you are trying to agree on the way forward, I’m ‘I’m not sure you’ve actually achieved your end goal or the vision Somalia imagines. “

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