Editor’s Note: In a recently concluded national conference on Somali Women and gender equality advocacy, WardheerNews got the chance to interview Mr. Deeq Yusuf, the Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development Mr. Deeq Yusuf who is also a Human Rights Activists and an advocate of universal suffrage, emphasizes the significance and general inclusivity of Somali women in leadership and governance. Evolving out of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) that was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 as part of Resolution 217, the current Federal Government of Somalia is making leaps and bounds by ensuring Somali women have their rightful roles in steering the nation to peace and prosperity and that the 30% quota in parliamentary allocations are accomplished. Our Chief Interviewer, Adan Makina, conducted this exclusive interview with Mr. Yusuf
WardheerNews (WDN): Deeq Yusuf, please welcome WardheerNews. Could you tell us in general what the objectives of the recently concluded Somalia’s National Women’s conference was geared to.
Deeq Yusuf: Somalia’s National Women’s Conference aims to advance women’s meaningful participation in Somalia’s constitutional review and path towards the 2020-21 elections through a nationally-led and nationally-owned process. In particular, the conference is designed to:
• Raise awareness of the constitutional review, preparations for the 2020-21 elections and opportunities for women’s rights offered by these processes among women and gender equality advocates;
• Sensitize key stakeholders involved in the constitutional review and roadmap towards the 2020-21 elections to the importance of, and concrete steps for, the meaningful participation of women as well as other equity-seeking groups in these processes;
• Develop a set of shared demands for the constitutional review and roadmap towards the 2020-21 elections by Somali women and a strategy to facilitate inclusion of these demands (A ‘Women’s Charter’);
• Strengthen the network between all stakeholders and create a strong working group that can take forward advocacy for these demands and the meaningful participation of women in the constitutional review and roadmap towards 2020-21 elections.
WDN: What do you hope to achieve at the end of the conference?
Deeq: In a nutshell, the expected achievements could be summed up as such:
• Increased awareness of the constitutional review process/2020-21 elections as well as of strategies to advance women’s rights in these contexts among Somali women;
• Increased awareness of need for women’s meaningful participation, as well as relevant strategies and provisions, among high-level stakeholders involved in the constitutional review process and preparations of the 2020-21 elections;
• Agreement of key gender equality priorities and strategies for the constitutional review and 2020-21 elections;
• Strengthened advocacy for women’s rights and gender equality in the context of Somalia’s constitutional review and 2020-21 elections;
• Increased attention to the needs and priorities of women among all stakeholders.
WDN: Why was it important to have such conference this time?
Deeq: We are moving towards the finalization of the Constitution. The momentum is crucial to ensure that all provisions are gender sensitive and address the needs of Women in Somalia.
WDN: How was it different from previous conventions?
Deeq: This convention was a unique convention because a convention like has not taken place in Somalia ever. It has brought together around 300 people from a diverse background such as, key stakeholders involved in the constitution-making and 2020-21 electoral process, male youth, people with disability, minority groups, gender champions and religious leaders as well as selected representatives who can share regional experiences in this area.
WDN: Have any progress been made so far in achieving the 30% quota for women in parliament?
Deeq: During the last elections the women seats went up from 11% to 25%, an important step forward. The charter demands a 30% quota for both Men and Women to ensure fairness.
WDN: Thanks for taking your precious time by sharing with WDN and its readers such an important conversation.
Deeq: My pleasure, Mr. Makina.
We welcome the submission of all articles for possible publication on WardheerNews.com. WardheerNews will only consider articles sent exclusively. Please email your article today . Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of WardheerNews.
WardheerNew’s tolerance platform is engaging with diversity of opinion, political ideology and self-expression. Tolerance is a necessary ingredient for creativity and civility.Tolerance fuels tenacity and audacity.
WardheerNews waxay tixgelin gaara siinaysaa maqaaladaha sida gaarka ah loogu soo diro ee aan lagu daabicin goobo kale. Maqaalkani wuxuu ka turjumayaa aragtida Qoraaga loomana fasiran karo tan WardheerNews.
Copyright © 2019 WardheerNews, All rights reserved