Counting Women’s Participation in Puntland Municipal Elections

Women’s and men’s equal participation in governance processes and the decisions that affect their lives are vital for achieving inclusive and effective governance system in Somalia. Puntland, an autonomous state under Federal Republic of Somalia has 53 districts which all are required to have local councils to represent the community as the legislative body of their respective district.

The establishment of the local councils was accelerated by the current Puntland administration which come to the power in January 8, 2019 and the district councils are established through clan based system where the council member is selected by the clan’s chief elder. In this system of election which has been in place since establishment of Puntland state in 1998 often makes women unrepresented and the chance of appointing a woman to the councils by the clan elders is zero probability.

Puntland Ministry of Women & Family Affairs has been leading a public advocacy campaign aimed to promote women’s representation in district councils by reaching clan elders and other relevant stakeholders to ensure appointment of women members to the councils. This campaign has achieved a tangible progress so far by looking at the number of female members already joined the local councils established by the government in this year. In addition to that, two female members were selected as deputy mayors in Badhan and Buraan districts which is another great achievement.

The below table shows the number of women and men in each district council:-

District Name Total Members Male Female
Galkacyo 31 25 6
Xarfo 18 15 3
Badhan 28 19 9
Buraan 19 13 6
Ufeyn 21 16 5
Burtinle 22 15 7
Buuhoodle 25 19 6