Southwest elects two female senators in Somalia's elections


MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia has elected two senators in what could be a significant boost to the realization of gender equality, in a rather patriarchal society, which rarely gives chances to women in political contests.

Senator Zamzam Ibrahim Ali retained her seat Monday in South West state after she won by a landslide margin to become the first female senator from the state. Out of the 92 votes cast, senator-elect Ali got 81 votes.

Her rival in the women-only contest Shariifo Osman got four votes only. Generally, she became the first woman to get an opportunity to serve in the 11th parliament, which will start transacting in the coming months.

In the second contest, Ayan Aden Abdullahi became the second female senator to be elected from the Southwest. She defeated Farhiya Nur Aden 79 to 8 votes in the rather clear contest where she was a clear favorite according to local media.

Ayan, who hails from Luq town told Southwest parliament she studied in Somalia and in Bangladesh and sometimes volunteers. She was born in 1991, at the start of civil strife in the country which is yet to stabilize.

The two ladies may have set a pace for women leadership in the country which is struggling to regain from a civil war that almost disintegrated the nation. At times, it's tough for women to make it in Somalia's elections.

Southwest and Jubaland have set the pace for the tough electioneering period which is set to conclude in the coming months. Other states are also set to start conducting senatorial elections before picking Lower House MPs and the president of the country.


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