Elections in 2016 still doable, women’s participation key, says UN Envoy to Somalia

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Mogadishu, 3 May 2014 - Swift action in 2014 in federalism, including passing key laws and completion of the constitutional review in 2015 in combination with continuous progress on the security front can still lead Somalia to successful elections in 2016, said the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Nicholas Kay, while meeting with representatives of women’s groups today in Mogadishu.

“The UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and I, personally, will continue to advocate and support greater women’s participation and empowerment in the political process” said SRSG Kay. Representatives of women’s groups raised concern that people still face many challenges with regards to security, health, education, food and they lack understanding of the importance of elections as well as the federation process.

SRSG Kay said that there has been significant progress but many challenges remain. The UN will continue to support the Federal Government in both the political process and with its development efforts. Answering questions about the reduction in the number of women in senior political roles, he said that women’s groups have still a great opportunity to advocate for greater participation in the constitutional review process, membership of the independent commissions and leadership roles in the political parties. “UNSOM is mandated to promote women’s empowerment and will continue to support your efforts” he added.