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Somalia kicks off drive for women participation in electoral process

Storyline:National News

Somalia’s electoral body has kicked off an awareness campaign to have women participate in the 2020/2021 electoral process.

The nationwide drive organized by the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) and backed by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) will be conducted by media practitioners and human rights activists, the AU mission said in a statement issued on Friday evening after a day-long forum in Mogadishu.

Sadia Shurie, who is Management and Finance Advisor at the NIEC, urged media reporting to be impartial, truthful and deliberately intended to create awareness on the importance of women participation in the electoral process.

Shurie said the electoral body has implemented a raft of measures to ensure equal participation of the youth and especially women in the available positions at NIEC.

“Twenty-four percent of NIEC staff both in Mogadishu and the regions are women. NIEC also conducts regular consultations to promote women participation in the electoral process,” she said according to the statement.

During the forum, youth participants, women’s groups, human right activists as well as female journalists agreed on modalities to use to promote women participation in the electoral and political process.

The Horn of Africa nation’s electoral body launched a five-year roadmap in 2018 to help guide the management and administration of the country’s ‘one-person, one vote’s elections in 2020-2021.

The NIEC says the roadmap, developed with the support of the UN mission will provide guidelines for all the activities to be undertaken by the Commission and will be subject to periodic review.

Muna Hassan Mohamed, political officer at AMISOM, noted the importance of conducting nation-wide campaigns to sensitize women on the importance of their participation.

“We agreed that sensitization, through the media, is key in making sure women are cognizant of their role in the electoral process. And as AMISOM, we act as facilitators to ensure the success of the awareness campaigns,” Muna said.