Networking between women aspirants and other women’s groups who will actively spearhead and embark women on political grounds and advocate for women’s quota

The forum began at 9:00am with a welcome speech from Maryam Daqaal who explained the purpose of the day’s meeting and why it was important to bring both women aspirants and women’s groups such as lawyers and MPs together. She then asked Mrs Hawa Lahelow who is the gender policy officer at the Ministry of education to speak a bit about the importance of such gathering. Mrs Hawa spoke on the value of having a capacity to network with other women from different sectors and strengthening our communication and knowledge spectre as a result. She reminded the young aspirants to remain steadfast in their goals, and always ensure that they are working for the betterment of the society in general and not for themselves only. Mrs Farhia Mumin from the gender section at the President’s office took to stage and also offered her advice to the young political aspirants. Mrs Mumin reiterated the importance of such a gathering and asked them to take full advantage of what was a brilliant networking opportunity. She ended her note by saying that a nation needs its women to develop it and if it does not have that then that country is on a path to failure.

After the few opening speeches by the women, the facilitator Mrs Khadija Ahmed Abukar began the day by reminding the participants the norms of the forum. Once the norms where written, Mrs Abukar then asked the participants to mention what their expectations from this forum was. The participants mentioned the following expectations:-

  • To gain a positive impact from today’s forum to enable them to gain motivation
  • There will be an increased chance of participants getting to know one and another and being able to network freely
  • Fear of being in politics will be less daunting knowing the force of other women there to support one another
  • Increased collaboration between women groups and young aspirants
  • Adequate economic opportunities between women groups due to the networking this forum provides
  • Enabling Somali women to be more knowledgeable on their rights due to information sharing and training capacity such a forum will build

Once the expectations where discussed the facilitator then asked the participants to mention what their objectives were from this forum. The following objectives were some of what the participants had in mind:-

  • One of the participants said her objective was to establish within them a network platform both in the business and political stream
  • Another objective was to lobby as a united force for their rights especially in aspects such as the 30% quota promised to women in Garowe which has never been fulfilled
  • The state has the political will but lacks the political implementation and as a united network of women we can ensure that policies are implemented rightfully