Somali women legislators today resolved to work together in parliament to push for laws targeting the protection of the rights of women, children and marginalized groups.
The legislators from both the House of the People and Upper House made the resolution at the end of the three-day workshop, organized by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), to train them on their legislative roles.
Some of the topics covered during the workshop are; constituency relations management, interpersonal skills for parliamentarians, networking, leadership, team-building and effective communication and enacting laws that protect human rights.
Led by the Chairpersons of the Women Caucuses of the House of the People and Upper House, the parliamentarians resolved to apply the knowledge gained from the workshop to formulate bills and push for enactment of laws that will improve the lives of women and children.
“We have been undergoing a three-day training which has concluded today and the objectives of the training were met, the participants from both houses achieved their goals. The training was useful,” said Shukri Aden Mohamed, the Chairperson of the Women Caucus of the Upper House.
Ms. Mohamed said the legislators were also taught how to lobby their fellow parliamentarians to support bills that will benefit their constituents.
The Chairperson of the Women Caucus of the House of the People, Mina Hassan Mohamed, expressed similar sentiments, noting that the training was timely, given the number of new female parliamentarians in the August House.
“The training was extremely important to us because being a parliamentarian is not only in the name but also your ability to learn,” Dr. Mohamed observed.
She noted that the knowledge acquired will enable women parliamentarians discharge their duties effectively and also actively participate in the decision making process in Somalia.
The two chairpersons urged development partners to emulate AMISOM by helping organize similar training workshops in federal states to benefit women MPs in regional assemblies.
Ms. Fawzia Yusuf Adam, a member of the House of the People, also lauded AMISOM for organizing the workshop, adding that the gesture was proof of African Union’s commitment to the advancement of the rights of women and protection of children in Somalia.
Due to the elaborate advocacy programmes launched by AMISOM and other development partners, the representation of women in parliament increased to 24 percent in the 2016 electoral process, up from 14 percent in the previous parliament of 2012-2016 period.
The three-day workshop, held in Mogadishu, was funded by the British Embassy in Mogadishu as part of the support to the AU Mission’s stabilization efforts in Somalia.