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“Time for Women to Lead in Somalia” – Somalia’s Only Female Presidential Candidate

Fawzia Yusuf Haji Adam a Somali woman, believes it’s time for a woman’s touch and launched her presidential campaign on Tuesday. Obtaining adequate support from Somalia’s legislators, the overwhelming majority of whom are male. If elected, Fawzia promises to give the nation a new lease of life by emphasizing security, economic empowerment, and education.

Fawzia, says she will do a better job than men to solve Somalia’s problems. “Islam does not forbid women from entering politics, becoming heads of state, or holding higher positions,” she said. “We have been waiting for men for so long to sort out the problems of Somalia, but till today we see there are no solutions,” Fawzia added.

Clan delegates will choose members of parliament in Somalia’s indirect elections, which are planned for October. The members of parliament will then vote on who will be the next president of the Republic. Some people, such as Abdirahman Omar, feel that Fawzia, a former deputy prime minister and foreign minister, has the potential to affect positive change if given the chance.

Somalia is a Muslim nation with conservative traditions that make a majority of its citizens reject female leadership. However, Omar told VOA he is happy to welcome a female to run for the office of president in Somalia. He says Mrs. Fawzia was tested and has the knowledge and a vision for leadership. “If females are elected as president, they will lead to positive change,” he added.

Fauzia Yusuf Haji Adan | IPS Inter Press Service | News Agency | Journalism  & Communication for Global Change
Fawzia Yusuf Haji Adam

Somalia National University’s Anwar Abdifatah believes it is not impossible for Fawzia to win the presidency in the parliament. Still, she would have to break long-standing traditions if she is to achieve success.

The fact that women are running for president in Somalia shows democratic maturity, particularly given the expected support of 30% of female MPs and a limited number of male supporters of a new administration. However, the powerful Islamic and deeply ingrained Somali culture sees men as the only protectors of authority,” Abdifatah stated.

Last year’s presidential and parliamentary elections in Somalia were postponed due to political differences. President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s tenure was extended shortly before being withdrawn due to foreign and Somali pressure.

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