A group of 30 Somali legislators are undergoing training In leadership and gender equality meant to equip them with new skills and knowledge to lead the country to new level of effectiveness in advancing gender equality and women empowerment.
Today, the senate has 54 members while the House of people has 275 members of Parliament. Out of 275 members, 26% are women after the 2016 general elections as compared to 14% women representation in 2012.
Speaking during the training taking place at Imperial botanical beach hotel in Entebbe, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) cross cutting unit manager, Somalia, Catriona Byrne said Somalia is still grappling with gender challenges among them, high rates of gender based violence, child marriages and high levels of female genital mutilation (FGM) at 98%.
She said with such challenges, it is difficult for any country to develop especially when the needs of women are neglected.
“To address gender issues in Somalia, strong leadership is crucial. The training is meant to empower MPs with leadership skills to be able to address and support the needs of women and girls,” she said
“The fastest way to achieve development that Somalia needs is through promotion of rights of all people, and this can be achieved through leadership for results,” she added
The training under the theme” Transformation leadership training for Federal and state members of Parliament” and is organized by UNDP.
MP South-West state, Shukiri Bashir Jajir said there is a lot of domestic violence against women in homes, HIV/AIDS and as leaders, they are looking for collective ways of addressing such problems and promote rights of women and girls.
Dr. Farah Abdi Hassan, Member of Parliament, House of Peable Federal government of Somalia said it is through action oriented leadership that Somalia will transform from a past conflicted country to a modern governance state.
He says there are many negative perceptions against women in Somalia, adding that it is not easy to change people on cultural perceptions they have held for a long time.
“After this training, we plan to educate our people about the purpose of women empowerment in the attainment of social, economic and political progress and development in our country,” said Hassan
The mayor of Sokone, Senegal, who is also a transformational leadership couch and one of the trainers, said the training is also organized to help participants to discuss and invent ways to change attitudes and assumptions that perpetuate denial and silence in relation to gender based violence.