Somaliland: Obstacles to Women Candidates in 2021 Elections

The conversation surrounding women’s political participation is at an all-time high, with civil society organizations, interested stakeholders, and the central government all clamoring to have their piece heard. The narrative is startlingly the same, “women deserve more seats at the table”,” women are severely unrepresented”, “women deserve more”, but actions speak louder, and that remains a rarity yet to be seen.

During Election Campaigns, the majority of the voters are women, and surprisingly all male-dominated political parties target to attract women voters. They include their political programs to increase women’s political participation, and sometimes they sign commitment letters of 30% voluntary quota for women in their executive branch if they win. But after elections, they forget all those promises. In practice, women remain underrepresented in all public offices, including the executive branch and elected offices.

Somaliland’s combined parliamentary and local councils’ elections are scheduled to happen on 31st May of 2021. Even though the Candidates list is not final, CPA found that there are only 13 women candidates for the parliamentary seats out of the 246 candidates. And 14 female candidates for the local elections out of the 650+ candidates. The expected total candidates of Somaliland combined elections from the three political parties were 993 candidates, but some of the Electoral districts have no candidates for different reasons.

Currently, there is only a one-woman MP out of 82 members in the Somaliland House of Representatives. and 0 women MP in the House of Elders. And 10 women local councilors out of 323 local councilors. Thus, women running for parliamentary and local councils are facing major challenges in this stage before the election date. However, some assumptions say most voters are women, and the question is, why are they not voting for them?

Find below both the full report and the list of female candidates of the three political parties

No.Name of CandidateLocal or ParliamentPolitical Party
1Waris Xuseen CigeMPUCID
2Xaliimo Xuseen YuusufMPUCID
3Saado Jaamac AadanMPUCID
4Aamina Cilmi FariidMPUCID
5Canab Cabdi XirsiMPUCID
6Sacdiya Aw MuuseMPUCID
7Hadiya Maxamuud IsmaaciilLocal CouncilorUCID
8Hinda Cabdilaahi XuseenLocal CouncilorUCID
9Faadumo Maaweel DucaaleLocal CouncilorUCID
10Sucaad Warsame MaxamedLocal CouncilorUCID
11Dalays Shire FaaraxMPKulmiye
12Samsam Maxamed CigeMPKulmiye
13Amran Bile CaliMPKulmiye
14Aamina Axmed SaalaxMPKulmiye
15Khadiija Ahmed AadanLocal CouncilorKulmiye
16Kiin Cali AskarLocal CouncilorKulmiye
17Hodan Khaliif MaxamedLocal CouncilorKulmiye
18Nimco Maxamed CawaaleLocal CouncilorKulmiye
19Sahra Aw-Cilmi MaxamuudLocal CouncilorKulmiye
20Suleekha Maxamed XasanLocal CouncilorKulmiye
21Sucaad Ibraahin CabdiMPWadani
22Sucaad Carmiye OdowaaMPWadani
23Kubra Xasan MaxamedMPWadani
24Aamina Faarax CaliLocal CouncilorWadani
25Xaawa Saalax MireLocal CouncilorWadani
26Aamina Maxamed JaamacLocal CouncilorWadani
27Maryan Sh Daahir GeeleLocal CouncilorWadani
Somaliland Parliamentary Candidates