By Goth Mohamed Goth

The Vice President H.E Abdurrahman Abdullahi Ismail “Saylic” today officially opened the two days Somaliland Women Conference in the western town of Borame in Awdal region.

The Theme of Somaliland Women Conference is “An Equitable and inclusive elections for all is an integral part of the democratization process in Somaliland”

The Ministry of Employment, Social Affairs and Family (MESAF) with NAGAAD Network and recently-established parliamentary caucus for the advancement of women gender equality in politics and leadership is holding this conference which is focusing on Critical challenges of women’s political participation and representation in the decision-making process and leadership for inclusivity and equality for all.

In his speech, the Vice President of Somaliland pointed out that the Government is committed to implementing the quota for women, in order to create an environment where women can compete openly in private positions.

“Truly is a great pleasure for me to attend the venue whereby we are strengthening the quota for women is awaiting approval at the House of Representatives, we welcome this conference, I urge the two opposition parties to join our hands together in the endorsement of this bill into law, “said the Vice President.

Mr. Saleban Hassan Hadii , Mayor of Borama speaking on the occasion said , “I hope women will be happy with the meeting held in Borama on the implementation of the quota for women in the Somaliland national assemblies, and every government has in the past brought to Borame initiatives which have succeeded and this conference will be a success.

Somaliland’s Minister for Employment, Family and Social Affairs, Hon. Hinda Jama Gaani Speaking at the opening of the conference stated that the purpose of the national conference was to support and implementing the quota for women in Somaliland.

The purpose of this conference is for two purposes to support the decision of the President Somaliland on women quotas and also to make a clear commitment here, together with our National Parties, the Government, especially at a time we prepare for the upcoming elections and the parties have agreed to hold elections, so we want to know what each party has for women? What are their commitments? Women are the producers of every president and now they are left in the middle,” said Hon Hinda Jama Gani.

She added. “In accordance with the President of the Republic of Somaliland commitments, his motivation, encouragement, and his support, so we want to know what in (for us) hence we want to know what national parties have in store for us?

Ms. Nafisa Yusuf Mohamed, Nagaad Executive Director, speaking at the venue said, “We are pleased with the commitment shown in the implementation of the quota for women, she said; “We are very pleased with the commitment that we have been shown today by the Vice President, Ministers, honorable members of the two legislative houses (Representatives and Elders) members of the three official political parties and all stakeholders who support women are present here today attending this conference”.

Hon. Mahdi Ibrahim Bubaa, member of the Somaliland House of Representatives addressing the participants of the conference said that they are ready to work together to approve the quotas law in both the House of Representatives and elders and that God willing we shall hold our hands together to approve Somaliland women’s quota enactment so as to enable women to fully participate in the national political process.

Hon. Baar Said, the only woman in the House of Representatives (Elders and Representatives) who spoke at the meeting said she was pleased to discuss the implementation of the quota for women in partaking in Somaliland national councils.

Hon Mohamed Kahin Ahmed, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of the Environment Hon. Haji Ismail Baandare, who spoke at the conference, said the government is ready to put into practice the quota for women, noting that the bill is now before the Parliament of Somaliland and it is important that it will be approved into law.

Mr. Hassan Said Yusuf, the secretary-general of KULMIYE party also spoke at the conference said we say; “The quotas bill which is currently being tabled in the Parliament is part of the campaign pledges made KULMIYE party when the Government succeeds in creating a Kulmiye government with a 30% quota for women.”

Somaliland government and the three national parties KULMIYE, WADDANI, and UCID signed a pledge to work together to implement the Somaliland women’s quota at the ongoing conference being held in Borame, Awdal region.

The Civil societies and communities at large, including women, are participating in the event in Borama for promoting gender equality and sustainable development in politics and leadership for all with a clear statement and declaration of Somaliland women’s quota enactment and application.

From the local to the global level, women’s leadership & political participation are restricted. Women are underrepresented as voters, as well as in leading positions, whether in elected office, the civil service, the private sector or academia.