This paper will examine the challenges that the women faced during the parliamentary and local council elections, the key lesson learned, statistics about the role of women in Somaliland Politics, and timely and context-based recommendations from the 2021 elections. Even though Somaliland civil society organizations and women activists had made efforts to increase women’s participation, the previous advocacy and programs, and political parties’ commitments before the election were not fully successful. It was critical to ensure the support and implementation of the correct programming towards women’s participation in politics. Therefore, it is the right time for the stakeholders to do more for gender equality in politics.

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Context Analysis: Overview of Somaliland’s Women in the Decision-making

Somaliland, one of the best democracies in the region, strikingly remains an all-male dominated democracy, with all decision-making platforms, including the executive, legislature, judiciary branches, political parties, and local councils being run by men. In general, Somaliland has more than 550 Political Positions, including the cabinet ministers, the parliament, the local councils, the governors, director generals, the head of governments, etc. Those political positions are included 304 elected members1, 142 nominated positions2, and other 106 positions3. There are only 12 female members, out of the 552 political positions of the country or in other words women are 2% of the country’s decision-making.