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On International Women’s Day, UN calls for investing in Somali women’s participation and representation

Friday 8 March, 2024 {HMC} On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the United Nations today called on the Somali authorities to invest greater effort in ensuring women’s inclusion in politics and making the minimum 30 per cent quota for women’s parliamentary representation a reality.

“The minimum 30 per cent quota will go a long to helping promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in Somalia. Despite numerous challenges, Somali women continue to make significant contributions to peacebuilding and reconciliation – this is through service as Members of Parliament, on civil society organisations and on youth associations, to name a few – but there needs to be even more investment of resources to build on this progress as investing in women is a cornerstone for building inclusive societies,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Catriona Laing.

“Somali women continue to remind stakeholders that ensuring inclusion and the 30 per cent quota in legislation is an achievable request given commitments already made by Somali leadership in the past,” she added.

Somali women leaders have been engaging stakeholders – including the National Consultative Council, religious and traditional leaders, the Speakers of Parliament, the Independent Constitutional Review Commission and the Oversight Committee – on the need for legislation and mechanisms to implement and achieve the women’s quota.

In Somalia, the UN supports the Federal Government in its efforts to increase women’s political participation and enact laws that strengthen the protection of women and girls, that comply with Somalia’s human rights obligations and meet international human rights standards. The UN also partners with the Federal Government and civil society to end harmful practices such as female genital mutilation.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress.’ The occasion has been observed around the world since 1875 to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, as well as to mark a call to action for accelerating gender equality.

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