EISA Somalia: Participation by women, youth and marginalised groups

See also Women's participation in electoral and governance processes


Female Somalian Members of Parliament complete two-day orientation session

28-29 Aug 2022

EISA organised a two-day orientation workshop, on the 28-29 August 2022, in collaboration with Somalia Non-State Actors (SONSA) and the Federal Parliament of Somalia. The workshop involved newly sworn-in women Members of Somalia's 11th Parliament in Mogadishu. A total of 34 participants attended the orientation session.

Women must support each other as a strategy to secure the 30% women quota during the ongoing Somalia elections

6-9 Feb 2022

The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), with support from the European Union (EU) and in collaboration with the Puntland Non-State Actors Association (PUNSAA) and the Ministry of Women and Human Rights in Puntland, organised a political campaign mentorship retreat in Garowe, Puntland between aspiring and recently elected female members of parliament.


Supporting training in the FMSs on outreach strategies for the women's 30% quota

EISA held five capacity building initiatives within the Federal Member States (FMS) in promotion of the 30% quota in the elections. Four of the events were held in Mogadishu and one in Balad Hawa - Jubbaland. All five events focused on outreach strategies for the women's 30% quota. The events were attended by political leaders, women and youth, informal institutions such as clan elders, and religious. Participants shared their views on the women's 30% quota, particularly on how the community and clan leaders could advocate for woman's 30% quota; the current electoral process and electoral dispute mechanisms in place; enhancing women aspirant's participation in the electoral process and the implications of current political context on women candidates in Somalia 2021/22 election.

From left: EISA Operations director Ilona Tip, representative from the Swedish Embassy, Mrs Nina Genneby, who are the donors and EISA Country Director Mukenyi Badibanga meet with a female candidate for the House of Representatives
Meeting with female House of Representative candidate

Aug 2021

EISA Somalia Office met with current female MPs from the Lower House to discuss 2016 challenges faced by women candidates and how to overcome these and other challenges in the upcoming elections. The lessons learnt and best practices that emanate from this meeting will lead to more efficient approaches by women candidate's in the upcoming Somali's 2021 elections.

Workshop on Leadership for Women Political Quota
2021 Roundtable on women's political participation

10-11 Jul 2021

On 10 - 11 July 2021, EISA supported a workshop on leadership for the women's 30% quota organised by the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development (MoWHRD) in Galmudug State, Somalia.

Held as part of the EISA's outreach strategy for the women's 30% quota initiative ahead of the upcoming elections in Somalia. The training workshop was attended by the Galmudug Vice President, His Excellency Ali Yusuf Eid, Minister of MoWHRD, Hon. Ubah Dhiblawe, Minister of Justice, Hon. Cabdi Mohamed and women leaders from six district associations, namely Abudwaq, Cadado, Herale, Guriceel, Galkacyo, and Dhusamareeb.

Facilitating a stronger dialogue between CSOs and state representatives

Nine dialogues between state actors and the CSOs were held. EISA reached all FMSs, including BRA. Some of the dialogues included a dialogue on women peace summit between CSOs and state representatives; the role of youth in peace and elections in Somalia; youth and women's political participation and dialogue for marginalised and minority groups on the electoral processes; the role of traditional elders in combatting corruption during elections; let's talk about peace; and strengthening and increasing the understanding of peace and the political process in the 2020-21 Federal elections. The sessions allowed clan elders, traditional and religious leaders, and CSOs activists to strengthen their ongoing political processes and the debate around an inclusive electoral process.

Supporting social cohesion

6 Jun 2021

On 6 June 2021, EISA held an activity under the theme: The role of youth and elders in the upcoming indirect election in Mogadishu, Banadire Regional Administration (BRA). The activity aimed to assist the BRA communities, especially the youth who face social exclusion, to have a dialogue with their elders to improve opportunities for individuals and groups to participate in the electoral process. Sixty stakeholders from the target communities attended the training, 38 of whom were women. These were community representatives, including women, youth, clan elders and religious leaders.


Capacity building for women to participate in politics and public affairs

Nov 2020

EISA held two workshops on 9-10 and 22-23 November 2020 capacitating women with advocacy and lobbying skills to achieve the National Plan on Gender. Both trainings were held in Banadir Regional Administration, Mogadishu. The workshop covered two themes, namely: Political participation of women in BRA and Warta Nabadda district and; training and capacity building for marginalized and minority groups.

Capacity building for women and youth to participate in the electoral process

Nov 2020

EISA and its partner, the Somali Women Leadership Initiative and EISA (SWLI), conducted two activities on 9-11 and 22-25 November 2020, in Hirshabelle and Banadire Regional Administration (BRA) respectively. These activities gathered over 160 young women and youth participants. The aim was to empower women and youth to participate more actively in the electoral process.

Democratic Coffee Breaks: Strategies for women and youth participation

17-18 Nov 2020

In order to strengthen the democratic culture, on 17-18 November, EISA held a session on the theme: Strategies for women and youth participation in the indirect election. During the discussions, several political activities and opportunities available to the youth and women were outlined and discussed as well as the challenges undermining Somali's transition to universal suffrage election and the future of the electoral process.

The workshop was held in Mogadishu and attended by 45 CSO representatives. While Democratic Coffee Breaks are similar to Let's talk elections, they focus on political parties while the latter focusses on election-related topics.

Supporting Social Cohesion training

16-17 Nov 2020

On 16-17 November 2020, EISA supported a social cohesion activity held in Luuq, Jubbaland. The aim was to ensure that groups and individuals that face social exclusion are included in dialogue and in communities themselves as well as improve opportunities for individuals and groups to participate in public life society.

The workshop was attended by 60 stakeholders from the target communities. These were community representatives, including women, youth, and people living with disabilities, clan elders, religious leaders, local political leaders.

Public outreach

31 Oct 2020

EISA supported a live television panel discussion to commemorate UN Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. The panelists were Asha Siyad, Chairperson of SWLI, Halima Ismail, Chairperson of NIEC and General Zakia Hussain, Deputy Commissioner of the Somali Police Force.

The objective of the discussion was to increase the confidence in women in meaningful inclusion in Somalia politics whilst safeguarding and re-enforcing laws guiding the protection of women across all walks of life. The panel discussion also aimed to empower women in participating in Somalia's progress towards peace, security and stable political processes under the UN Resolution 1325.

Women's Political Forum on Somalia's 2020/2021 Elections

20-21 Oct 2020

EISA, in partnership with the Somali Women Leadership Initiative (SWLI) hosted the "Women's Political Forum on Somalia's 2020/ 2021 Elections", the event was held in Mogadishu. The Forum was attended by prominent Somali women leaders from both houses Parliament, the National Independent Electoral Commission, the Somali National Women Organisation, as well as representatives from the Federal Government.

Informing and educating citizens on electoral participation

Sep 2020

EISA continued to inform and educate citizens on electoral participation. EISA reached two Federal Members States, namely Puntland and Banadire Administration Region (Mogadishu) through an episode of Let's Talk Elections conducted during September, just days before the agreed Electoral Code, on Barriers and solutions to increase youth and women's political participation.

All episodes were aired on Somali TV, radio, and social platforms. The format of this activity continued to raise EISA's profile and extend the reach of this series. Somalis from the diaspora are also actively engaged through the use of social media platforms.

Dialogue sessions between state actors and CSO members

Aug & Sep 2020

EISA Somalia facilitated five meaningful dialogue sessions between state actors and CSO members in Hirshabelle, Jubbaland, Mogadishu, Banadire region, on 5-8 August; 5-7, 6-7 and 15-16 September and discussed each of the following topics: Enhancing gender equality and empowerment of marginalised women in the constitutional and electoral processes; strengthening and increasing political participation of women in the 2020-21 electoral process; and civil society participation in the political and electoral process. These sessions strengthened the role of the CSOs in ongoing political processes and the debate around women representation.

Enhancing gender equality and empowering marginalised groups

5-6 Aug 2020

EISA in partnership with the Marginalised Communities Advocates Network - (MCA) held a two-day workshop in Mogadishu on enhancing gender equality and empowerment of marginalised groups in constitutional and electoral processes.

Thirty five participants, 30 women and 5 men, attended the workshop. Youth groups and members of civil society organisations were among those who attended and constructively participated in the workshop.

SOM TV newsclip on the inclusion of the disabled people in the electoral process
The inclusion of disabled people in the electoral process

27 Jul 2020

EISA, in partnership with the Somali Disability Custer (SDC), held a one-day workshop in Mogadishu. The discussion focused on the rights of people with disability and the inclusion of the disabled in the electoral process.

Fifty people from disabled people's advocacy organisations attended the workshop.

In the news

SOMALISAN NEWS 2020 Hay'ada EISA ayaa dadka naafada u qabtay tabbar doorashoyinka, 28 Jul (accessed 28 Sep 2020)

ILWAREED ONLINE 2020 EISA Organized election Process training Workshop for the Somali Disability people in Mogadishu, 27 Jul (accessed 28 Sep 2020)

Video on Somali Women's 30% Quota in the 2020/2021 election
Towards a 30% parliamentary representation quota for women

21 Jul 2020

EISA in partnership with Somali Women Leadership Initiative (SWLI) conducted a workshop in Mogadishu to raise women's awareness and understanding of the political process of the upcoming federal election of 2020/21 and to empower women to come forward and join political parties.

The activity was attended by women from the House of the People, Senate, political parties and CSOs, as well as women from Benadir Regional Administration and women activists and lobbyists.

CSO-State consultative forum on election participation by women

12-13 Jul 2020

EISA in partnership with Somali Women Development Centre (SWDC) convened a consultative forum in Mogadishu. The aim was to bring women from different social and political sectors together to strive for a 30% quota for women in parliament, and also to encourage them take part in the electoral process.

The forum was attended by 30 women from different political areas such as women-led CSOs, current MPs, candidates in previous elections, political aspirants, lawyers and university students.


Electoral Commission engagement with women and youth

9 Dec 2019

EISA supported the NIEC in its engagement with women and youth in Dhusamreb, Galmudug state to capitalise on the momentum around the state elections and send a signal in support of women's political participation.

In Southwest state a first round of engagement was held on the 10 November and gathered CSOs and state actors and discussed the theme "women's participation in political party leadership". The political party registrar attended and facilitated the workshop using the material developed by the NIEC.

A second round was held on the 11 November 2019 discussed the theme "women's participation in the electoral process". Both activities were attended each by 64 participants (23 men and 41 women).

Enhancing Gender Equality and Empowerment of Marginalized Women

3-4 Dec 2020

EISA supported a partner, the Marginalised Communities Advocates (MCA) Network, to engage the communities in Jowhar, Hirshabelle, on the topic "Enhancing Gender Equality and Empowerment of Marginalized Women group in the Constitutional and electoral processes". The workshop was attended by 65 participants (63 females and 2 males). The workshop was also attended by the Ministry of Women and Human Rights, the deputy ministry of constitution and the chairperson of civil societies. The workshop raised awareness about the participation of women and youth in the political process, as well as the inclusion of members from the marginalised communities.

Multiparty youth dialogue: Socialisation, gender relations and political participation

3 Dec 2019

EISA held a one-day multiparty dialogue with youth leaders from newly formed political parties in Mogadishu. The objective was to recognise and internalise how socialisation impacts on gender relations and hinders women's ability to participate and meaningfully contribute to political parties as well as to develop a common understanding on gender, inclusion, and governance. The meeting was attended by 32 participants (26 males and 6 females).

The dialogue was an opportunity for youth political leaders to voice their concerns and explore areas of common interest. Some of the concerns raised include their limited space within parties and delays in passing the electoral law by parliament. Leaders made suggestions to promote dialogue within their parties in order to manage internal tensions and to have inclusive dialogue.

Democratic Coffee Breaks: Youth & women's empowerment

30 Nov 2019

In order to increase political knowledge among Somali women and youth, EISA invited political party's youth leaders to participate in a one-day meeting on 30 November in Mogadishu. Twenty-three participants (18 male and 5 female) attended. At the end of the event, participants were able to identify who the Somali electoral stakeholders are, articulate their roles and how they, as political parties, relate to these stakeholders.

At the end of the meeting a notable number of participants from the political parties requested EISA to allow them to continue with the meeting as they wanted to reflect on what they had have learned. Some suggested forming a coalition to push the youth agenda. EISA is following upon the developments.

Dialogue: The role of women in the constitutional review process

6-7 Nov 2019

EISA supported its partner, the Somali Women's Leadership Initiative (SWLI), to expand its dialogue and experience sharing round table series on: "Role of Women and Provisional Constitution Review Process". SWLI convened a two-day workshop with women leaders from 17 Banadir Administration Region districts on 6 - 7 November 2019. A total of 67 women leaders and community influencers benefited from this workshop which will improve their participation in public affairs in their communities.

Consultative meetings with leaders of women's groups

6 Nov 2019

Consultative meeting with women's groups in Mogadishu, September 2019

EISA Somalia held the second meeting with leaders of women's groups from across five Somalia Federation Member States. The meeting was held in Mogadishu, on 6 November 2019 and attended by 20 women. This was the start of the process to solicit buy-in from beneficiaries.

These meetings allowed both EISA and the leaders of women's groups to harmonise an understanding of issues pertaining to women's political participation and committing to the implementing strategy proposed by the action. A task group of seven women was set up to take part in the development of a manual to be used in 2020.

Capacity building: Women's participation in politics and public affairs

Sep & Nov 2019

EISA Somalia conducted a consultative meeting with women's groups in Mogadishu to discuss the development of need-based tools to strengthen advocacy and lobbying for women's participation in leadership positions and political space. The meeting, held on 8 September 2019 and attended by 18 women, was with leaders of women's groups from Banadir region.

Ministry of the Constitutional Affairs workshop

22-24 Oct 2019

EISA supported a workshop for members of the Ministry of the Constitutional Affairs titled "Recognising and promotion of Somali women political participation and constitutional review process in Somalia". The aim of the workshop was to promote more inclusive political institutions in Somalia and to support the coordination of locally led collective feminist action in Somalia. The forum took place in Mogadishu and gathered 80 participants (73 men and 7 women).


Civic participation for people with disabilities workshop

Following consultative meeting with PWD groups EISA organised a two-day training workshop on the theme 'Civic participation for people with disabilities'. The training was devoted to basic human rights, fundamental concepts of democracy and elections. Ministry of Constitutional Affairs (MoCA) was invited to make presentations on the provisional constitution and to discuss the importance of a constitution. The meeting opened the door for further discussions and future co-operation between the PWD community and the ministry.

Capacity building for Somali youth organisations

EISA conducted a series of capacity-building training sessions for youth organisations, focusing on results-based strategic management to provide them with the skills necessary to manage grants relating to civic education and democratisation. Twenty participants between the ages of 14 and 28, 12 of whom were women, attended the workshops on 17 and 18 January, completing the series of workshops started in November 2017. All the participants were awarded certificates of completion.

Women civil society actors and local authorities

Cognisant of the fact that Somali women's public participation is still weak despite the new political dispensation, EISA supported its partner, the Somali Women's Leadership Initiative (SWLI), to organise a dialogue and experience sharing round table on: "Exchanging best practices on good governance at local level and enhancing cooperation between women civil society actors and local authorities". The round table which took place on 3 May 2018 in Mogadishu drew 40 women including community leaders, CSO activists, lobbyists and officials from districts and ministries.

Subsequent round tables were conducted and more than 200 women leaders and community influencers benefited from them, which were aimed at improving their participation in public affairs in their communities.

Somali youth on democracy and elections training

April 2018

On 23 April 2018, EISA conducted a closing session of the series of workshops for Somali youth on democracy and elections that have been held since September 2017. Twenty participants, 11 female and 9 males aged between 14 and 28 years represented youth organizations, universities and secondary schools. All the participants were awarded certificates of completion. This half-day session wrapped up the series of capacity building workshops provided by EISA to the Somali youth organizations. The training successfully enabled participants to gain an understanding of the link between democracy and elections.


Mogadishu: Training of youth representatives in the democracy and elections

September 2017 - January 2018

The workshops focused on the training of youth representatives in democracy and elections. The final training of the series which began in September 201 took place in January 2018 with a certificate ceremony held in March 2018. A two day workshop for representatives of youth organisations, universities and high schools in November 2017 and January 2018 was held in Mogadishu attended by a total of 20 participants between the age of 14 and 28 years, 12 of whom were young women. The training held on the 17 and 18 November focused on elections and political parties and that of the 17 and 18 January focused on results based strategic management which will provide the youth organisations with the skills to manage grants relating to civic education and democratisation.

Somaliland education and information workshops

November 2017

In November 2017, three back-to-back voter education and information workshops were held in Hargeisa. The first workshop, held on 1 and 2 November, focused on special interest groups, which included participants from the Disability Action Network (DAN), Nagaad Women's network, Somaliland Pastoral Forum (SOLPAF), and Somaliland National Youth Organization (SONYO). The second workshop, held on 4t and 5 November, focused on media organisations and other CSOs, including SOLJA, Women in Journalism Association (WIJA), Somaliland Association for Youth Salvation (SAYS), New Circus Somaliland, and Asal. A final workshop was held on 7 and 8 November, for all six BUILD Grantees on the same topic, i.e. voter education and information. The six Grantees are; Academy for Development and Advocacy of Minorities (ADAM), Horn of Africa Voluntary Youth Committee Organization (HAVOYOCO), Somaliland Association of Youth Salvation (SAYS), Somaliland Society Development Organization (SOSDO), Sool United Non-Governmental Organization (SUNGO) and the Youth PEER Education Network (Y-PEER).