Somalia’s Foreign Affairs ministry trains 20 new diplomats – all women

20 trainee diplomats-all women/ COURTESY

Somalia on Monday announced it is training more than 20 trainee diplomats-all women.

The future diplomats are participating in an ongoing training course at the country’s Diplomatic Institute in at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister Ahmed Awad said.

“I appreciate the efforts of the Director of the Institute, and Yasir Baffo, the first tutor to conduct training at the Institute,” Awad said on Twitter.

Despite some gains, Somali women in politics and governance face an uphill battle in reaching the country’s 30 per cent quota, Institute for Security Studies says in its September 2018 report.

Women’s participation in Somali politics has traditionally been low, and a controversial topic in the country. Somali society typically ascribes to more conservative notions of a woman’s role in family and community life, rarely envisioning a position of political leadership in a male-dominated system. This has been changing, but there’s a long road ahead.

According to UN Women in Africa, the women of Somalia bear an unequal brunt of the hardships occasioned by poverty, conflict and clan-based culture which promotes strict male hierarchy and authority. This is further exacerbated by religious and cultural limitations on the role and status of women in Somali society.

“As a result, deeply rooted gender inequality prevails; Somali women are either excluded from formal decision making and asset ownership or operate through a patriarchal filter,” UN Women notes.

This comes at time when Somalia has intensified its diplomatic reach, with the recent being the opening of its embassy in the US.

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