By Goth Mohamed Goth
The ministry of employment, social and family affairs on Thursday evening organized a well-attended discussion panel on the Importance of women’s political participation for sustainable equitable development was held at the Hargeisa cultural center.
The panel drew participants from the women groups, politicians, civil rights groups, international NGOs and other stakeholders.
The members of the panel discussed impediments that bar the participation of women in politics and development and way through.
The panel agreed that the Somaliland Gender Gap Assessment shows immense, widespread marginalization of women in politics, economics, and education.
Most of the women groups requested that a quota system should be introduced into the law so that women can have access to the election process. It was very clear from the participants of the forum suggest that without reasonable quota of seats being set aside for women and minority groups, they won’t be fully represented in the national decision making bodies of the country. It is also unlikely that they will get their legitimate representation any time soon in the current socio-political context.
Ensuring equal opportunities for women, matched with the resources to ensure these opportunities can be realized. Equal access to land and credit, natural resources, education, health services including sexual and reproductive health, decent work and equal pay must be addressed with renewed urgency. Policies, such as for child care and parental leave, are just as needed to address systemic barriers to women’s empowerment.
Mr. Sturt Brown, head of UK office in Hargeisa addressing the panel said “Women must be able to participate equally in decision-making in the household, private sector and government institutions. For democracy to be meaningful and inclusive, women’s voices and leadership must be amplified in all public and private spaces.
The participants were entertained by local artists who sung sweet melodies during the breaks.