SOMALIA: Somali Draft Constitution Includes Women in Country's Affairs

Monday, May 14, 2012
Press TV
Eastern Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Reconstruction and Peacebuilding

After two decades of civil war and being subjected to violence and unthinkable hardships, Somali women are now expected to have a voice in the country's government, Press TV reports.

If the African nation's constitution draft is passed into law, Somali women will be given 30 percent of the seats in the new Constituent Assembly and will be a part of the permanent Somali government set to take office at the end of August.

“The war paralyzed the family units set up in Somalia. Women fled with their children and some were left behind. The children were forced to stop schooling and some were separated from their parents. Despite all these challenges, the Somali women have brought up their kids properly,” Women and Family Affairs Minister Maryan Aweys Juma said.

In Mogadishu, women are leading NGOs and other committees to improve health and educational services.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

The weak Western-backed transitional government in Mogadishu has been battling al-Shabab militants for the past five years and is propped up by a 12,000-strong African Union force from Uganda, Burundi, and Djibouti.