Q&A: An bold try and be Somalia’s first feminine president | Elections Information

This Sunday, Somalia is predicted to carry its extremely anticipated and long-delayed presidential election as 39 presidential candidates jostle for the nation’s high place.

A number of the contenders embrace the incumbent, two former presidents, the speedy former prime minister and the president of the regional state of Puntland, joined the race.

Additionally within the race is Somalia’s solely feminine presidential candidate, Fowzia Yusuf Adam. She is a legislator and a well known girls’s rights advocate who made historical past because the nation’s first feminine deputy prime minister and feminine overseas affairs minister.

Somali lawmaker and presidential candidate Fowzia Yusuf H Adam sits in her workplace in Mogadishu, Somalia Saturday, July 17, 2021 [Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP Photo]

The train was scheduled to occur greater than a 12 months in the past however couldn’t, as a consequence of a protracted political disaster and raging insecurity being spearheaded by al-Qaeda-linked armed group, al-Shabab.

It’s now taking place towards the backdrop of a Could 17 deadline by donors just like the Worldwide Financial Fund for the Horn of Africa nation to place in place a authorities or lose funding.

However no votes will probably be solid by the Somali folks. Within the nation’s distinctive electoral system, every clan respectively elects their members of parliament and thus makes the nation maintain its oblique presidential election.

In all, parliament has 329 members, with 54 of these within the Senate. The Senate members symbolize the 5 regional states and are elected by provincial legislators whereas the opposite lawmakers are elected by delegates appointed by clan elders and members of civil society. They collectively elect the president who leads the nation for 4 years.

There are just a few exceptions however Somali girls hardly get into politics or maintain high public workplace, given cultural restrictions in what stays a deeply conservative society.

However Fawzia, the nation’s first-ever feminine deputy prime minister and overseas affairs minister between November 2012 to January 2017, needs to show that incorrect. She is competing with 38 males.

Al Jazeera spoke to Fowzia Yusuf.

Al Jazeera: What inspired you to hitch the Somalia presidential race?

Yusuf: The reason being that, since I used to be deputy prime minister, appearing prime minister and even overseas [affairs] minister, I believed I might do extra If I went for the highest job. I realised that I couldn’t make any tangible achievement until I purpose for the highest job.

I used to be additionally inspired by the countless warfare in Somalia and the dearth of excellent public companies to the folks.

I additionally realised the hardship Somali girls, kids and refugees face. I’m so motivated that different international locations have progressed effectively, and we’re nonetheless combating warfare, but we have now sufficient pure sources to prosper.

Al Jazeera: What are your plans in your presidency?

Yusuf: If allowed to guide Somalia, I’ll strengthen the rule of legislation, full the draft structure and strictly observe it. I’ll implement true reconciliation throughout the nation. Rebuilding the Somali nationwide military and well timed offering their rights and wish for peace and safety is the important thing to stability.

My utmost precedence is to revive the nation’s economic system by growing the Infrastructural and industrial sector since Somalia has Africa’s longest coast sea. My nation has financial sources, together with agriculture, fishing and livestock. I’ll modernise them to battle poverty and create employment for the general public in order that they will pay taxes.

Abandoning the clan-based system for a correct democratic course of can be my ambition.

Relating to public companies, I’ll present free healthcare and training to the general public throughout the nation. Above all, the battle towards corruption and prioritising girls’s and kids’s wants would be the hearts of the whole lot in my administration.

Al Jazeera: What do you assume has gone incorrect with Somalia?

Yusuf: Normally, civil warfare occurs in lots of elements of the world, however the principle drawback in Somalia is that there was no true reconciliation within the nation after the civil warfare, and that gave the terrorist organisation an opportunity to do what they wished. The absence of an precise democratic course of has considerably contributed to the instability in Somalia.

Al Jazeera: Presently, drought and local weather change points are affecting Somalia. How do you propose to resolve this?

Yusuf: My understanding is that deforestation is the principle purpose for Somalia’s drought and local weather change. I’ll develop a strict coverage to handle environmental destruction if given an opportunity. Cloud seeding is a contemporary approach of addressing the drought and is considered one of my methods in locations. I’ll modernise the agricultural and livestock sector to offer sufficient meals for the folks.

Al Jazeera: What about addressing the matter of insecurity, which has been the first problem in Somalia?

Yusuf: I consider we are able to attempt to negotiate with al-Shabab and perceive what they need. Resolving FARC rebels in Colombia and the warfare in Afghanistan by negotiation has labored.

Al Jazeera: You might be contesting as the one lady within the race; what makes you totally different from different candidates? Do you assume you’ll make it given the variety of males within the race and the societal resistance to having girls lead?

Yusuf: Sure, I’ll make it, and Somali girls have potential if given an opportunity. I consider Somalia will probably be a peaceable and secure nation underneath girls’s management.

I’m totally different as a result of I dared to do it. I’m the chief of a political organisation and realise that no one can cease the ladies if they’re prepared to do [anything]. I need to be a task mannequin for Somali girls.

Al Jazeera: What are the challenges Somali girls face in stepping into management?

Yusuf: The challenges are many; cultural challenges encompass the ladies. Ladies are the leaders in lots of international locations worldwide, together with Tanzania; subsequently, cultural and non secular discrimination towards girls solely occurs in Somalia.

For this nation to prosper, we should get girls in management.

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