Somalia: UN envoy to Somalia meets Puntland leaders, traditional elders, women’s group
GAROWE, Puntland- UN delegation led by UN Special representative to Somalia, Ambassador Michael Keating, was received by Puntland officials in Garowe city, following one day visit to the state’s capital, Garowe Online reports.
During the visit, UN delegate held meeting with Puntland President Abdiwali Mohamed Ali Gaas at the State House in Garowe. Talks between the two sides are thought to have focused on the forthcoming electoral process and women quota in the Upper and Lower House chambers.
Later the delegate held talks with traditional elders, women’s group and officials from Puntland Ministry of Women at Puntland Development and Research Center (PDRC) to deliberate on women participation in the upcoming electoral process.
During the meeting, UN special envoy has reiterated commitment to adopt National Leader Forum (NLF) decision to empower women in the political process and adopt 30 per cent quota for women in the electoral process.
on her side, Puntland Women Minister Anisa Abdiqadir has described women as the “backbone” of the society, and stated that Somali women are qualified and competent to participate in the political process.
However, a private meeting between traditional elders and UN envoy is reported to have focused on advocating women representation in the upcoming Federal Parliament amid opposition of some elders to the move. Traditional elders stated that the women quota is contradicting with local traditions and was opposed earlier by Somali Religious Council.
Traditional elders were reluctant to nominate women for the upcoming parliamentary elections, for the reason that women, who are married to spouses from other clans, can’t represent them.
On the other hand, Somali women’s group still insists on their share quota along with the support of Puntland’s Indirect Electoral Implementation team (SIEIT) to ensure women share of representation in the upcoming elections.
Somalia is preparing to hold parliamentary elections between 23 October and 10 November , while the new lawmakers is set to vote for the new president in November 30.