Somalia’s newly appointed Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed announced the new list of cabinet ministries at 2:00am midnight on Thursday 16th of January 2014. The cabinet consisted of 25 ministers, 25 deputy ministers and 5 state ministers which is three times the size of the previous cabinet.
The new list consists of two female ministers and two female deputy ministers marking less than 10% of the total cabinets. This woeful shortfall was echoed by SRSG Nicholas Kay via tweeter saying “Percentage of women is lower in new proposed #Somalia govt (under 10%). Yet more than 50% of all Somalis are women. #UN backs women role.”
Our previous cabinet had two prominent female ministers, Mrs Fawzia Yusuf H.Adan former foreign Minister and deputy Prime Minster and Mrs Mariam Qasim former Minster of Human Development and Public Services, both of whom were prominent politicians and played major roles in the country’s development but are no longer in the new cabinet despite their desire to remain in their role. This once again illustrates the lack of women participation and representation in Somali politics which is hindered in part by tribal affiliation and political relationships. This illustrates the lack of our government’s desire for women’s rights; Awareness towards this lack would clearly give women a much greater political presence.
Following the announcement of the new cabinet ministers, there was an uproar regarding the number of women ministers, one of them Minster of Women and Human Rights and another one Minster of Works and Reconstruction as well as two other deputy ministries. This clearly highlights the difference in levels (complexity) in roles from the previous cabinet to the current cabinet. The written constitution requirement includes a 30% quota for women’s political participation which means by right women should hold at least 18 of the 55 positions.
Somali women call for the implementation of the agreed road map which was brought about last year and to date has yet to be implemented. This follows the lack of implementation of significant international conventions such as Convention of Child Rights and the Violence against Women policies.
We call on all international community to convince our government to give women their rightful position in all government positions per our constitution .The implementation and adherence to the constitution will enable the country to move forward and progress in an impartial manner that enables all sectors of the society to be rightly presented.