Workshop Series for Female Members of Parliament in Somalia continues

The Foundation concludes workshops on the topic Ensuring Women and Minority Representation in Electoral Systems.

The Max Planck Foundation concludes the workshop series on the topic Ensuring Women and Minority Representation in Electoral Systems held under the framework of its legal capacity building programme for female members of parliament under the German Federal Foreign Office funded project Capacity Building and Legal Advice for the Federal Member State Legislative Assemblies in Somalia.

The presentation focused on different electoral systems and their families and highlighted as to how the electoral systems using the party list such as closed list proportional system, parallel system, and mixed member proportional system are effective in representing minority groups and women in elections and political party systems. The major focus of the presentation was then the various options available globally for minority (and women) representation to include such groups, which included reserved seats and quotas, communal representation, boundary delimitation, low electoral threshold, over-representation, and best loser system. These were illustrated by case studies from other countries and an assessment of representation of minority and women in elections and political party systems in the context of Somalia. After the presentation, the participants were given a working group exercise in the form of a simulation to understand the best electoral systems for minority and women representation and to explore the basis of defining minorities, including women.

The workshop was held for the female members of the Legislative Assembly of Galmadug in Dhuumareeb on 19 February 2024, for the female members of the Legislative Assembly of South-West State in Baidoa on 20 February 2024, for female and male members of the Legislative Assembly of Puntland in Garowe on 9 March 2024, for the female members of the Legislative Assembly of Jubaland in Kismayo on 10 March 2024, and the workshop series concluded with a final workshop for the female members of the Legislative Assembly of Hirshabelle in Jowhar on 20 June 2024.

In all five locations, the workshop triggered very interesting discussions among the female members of the Somali Federal Member State Legislative Assemblies and some of their male counterparts, on the need for and mechanisms and approaches available in increasing the presentation of women and minorities in the Somali political system. The topic was seen as particularly pertinent considering the ongoing review of the Somali Provisional Constitution and the preparations of electoral laws.