Fadumo Dayib – leading Somalia
Fadumo Dayib has the goal of becoming Somalia’s first female president. After earning her master’s degree in health care and public health, she became involved with the United Nations which seeded her passion and drive to help the people of Somalia. Aiming to run for the 2016 elections, there are many challenges this new candidate faces, which Fadumo discussed with BBC news in an interview about her election campaign.
Somalian politics has gone through many periods of change over the years, including the outbreak of the civil war and the collapse of the Siad Barre regime in the early 1990s. Since then, many Somali residents reverted back to their local form of conflict resolution, consisting of civil, religious, and customary laws.
In the early 2000s, Somalia saw the creation of an interim federal administration, The Transitional National Government. With the reestablishment of institutions such as the Military of Somalia in 2004, the TFG formed the Islamic Courts Union. This union was notorious for dividing the country and creating more radical groups such as Al Shabaab. After almost 12 years of an interim government, Somalia showed a strong commitment toward establishing a permanent democratic institution when passing the new Provisional Constitution in August of 2012.
Challenges of a Female Leader
Throughout history, Somalia has been a country dominated by men. With the current formula that allows men to select through a 4.5 clan election process by their clan elders, it is difficult for women to become elected and hold a position of political power. With men representing the nations of all Somalis, this arena has become even more challenging over the recent years as women begin to drive towards becoming political figures
While there have been great strides in providing women the opportunity to hold public office, the challenges of the Somalian government continue to be a major topic of discussion. To start, Somalian women have very little representation in the new government. For example, there is no Chapter in the Provisional Constitution specifying social, economical, and political rights of women.
Fast forward to modern day Somali politics, and the country is currently run by the Federal Government of Somalia, which was replaced by a series of transitional governments in 2012. In fact, the country as yet to fold any formal elections. The current president was voted into office by members of the parliament. The country’s first official political contest since 1967 is slated to be held in 2016, which Fadumo Dayib plans to participate.
Combined with the male dominated mentality, the new government, and the first official free political campaign in nearly 50 years, Fadumo Dayib faces a steep hill in her political dreams.
Working with Al Shabaab
Another risky, but important aspect of Fadumo Dayib’s focus will be to work with the al Qaeda jihadist group based out of East Africa. Determined to find common ground with her fellow brothers and sisters, Fadumo Dayib shared, “They are our sons and brothers and we need to talk to them about this problem affecting us, nothing wrong about that”. As a mother of four, Mrs. Dayib has received multiple death threats after announcing her interest in the male dominated politics, but remains steady in her commitment to running and making a difference in her home country.
Fadumo Dayib is a pioneer, an activist, and a passionate individual looking to better the world she lives in. Focused on giving first priority to empowering both women and children in her government, she hopes to build a political system that provides public access to education, health, and the basic human needs of adequate food and shelter.
While there is no doubt that Fadumo Dayib faces an uphill battle, her determination, commitment and sense of patriotism for her county is undeniable. We can only wait and see how the 2016 elections play out and how much of an impact this trail blazer will have on the future of Somalian politics.