27 May 2019, Jowhar. The Hirshabelle Ministry of Interior and Local Government has held a day long consultation with women’s groups, women community leaders and traditional elders in Jowhar this month, on implementing a thirty percent quota for women’s representation in district councils in the State.
The consultation was organized by the Hirshabelle Ministry of Interior, and the Hirshabelle Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development, under a Task Force set up to ensure a thirty percent women’s representation quota is implemented. A requirement for thirty percent women’s representation in district councils and in the delegates who elect district council members, is laid out in Hirshabelle’s Local Government Law No.4, which sets out the legal framework for local government decentralisation and administration in the State.
The thirty percent quota is one of a series of quotas proposed for greater female representation in government across Somalia. The Federal Women’s Charter for Somalia, which was developed following consultations with Somali women’s groups and from inputs given by women leaders, civil society, and government during a Women's Convention in March 2019, advocates for fifty percent women's representation across all three levels of government.
The meeting in Jowhar aimed to seek the input and recommendations of women leaders, civil society organizations and women business owners, on the quota and on female representation in district councils in local government. Fifteen traditional leaders also took part in the consultation. The consultation is one of several pre-council formation consultations taking place across Hirshabelle, with others also taking place in Beledweyn, Warsheekh, and Buloberde, with the aim of gaining input into, and raising awareness, around the set-up of district councils in each city. The meetings are part of ongoing work to ensure accountability, inclusivity, and transparency in local governance.
The events were supported by the United Nations Development Programme, under the UN Joint Programme on Local Governance (JPLG), as part of UN support to the development of effective local government across Somalia. The UN JPLG programme is implemented by five UN agencies: UNDP, UNICEF, UN-Habitat, ILO and UNCDF, working in partnership with the Government of Somalia. It is funded by Denmark, the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, USAID and the United Kingdom.