On International Day, the UN Calls for Somali Women’s Enhanced Political Participation

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the United Nations in Somalia commends Somali women for their immense contributions to peace and development in the country and calls for decisive action by Somali leaders to ensure gender equality and full participation of women in all spheres of life.

“Throughout the years, Somali women have played an extraordinary role in reconciliation, peacebuilding, and development,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan. “In my conversations with Somalis, they often tell me that women are the backbone of the Somali society. It is time for this to be recognized and translated into concrete actions and opportunities for Somali women to participate in political decision-making and enhance their leadership abilities.”

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world’. As Somalia experiences a new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations in Somalia acknowledges the tremendous efforts of Somali women who joined the national response efforts to keep families and communities safe.

“While applauding women’s resilience, we should also remember that in Somalia and elsewhere in the world, the pandemic affects women and girls disproportionately, as they face increased economic uncertainty, violence, and insecurity. More needs to be done in terms of prevention but also to ensure there are adequate services available for victims and survivors,” said Mr. Swan.

Ahead of Somalia’s upcoming elections, the United Nations in Somalia urges all Somali stakeholders to honor the commitment made to implement the agreed 30 per cent women’s quota when electing the representation for the Upper House and 11th Parliament.

International Women’s Day has been observed around the world since 1975, to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality.

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