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A call centre for women aspiring for leadership positions has been established in Mogadishu by the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development with financial and technical support from UNFPA Somalia. The centre will also be used as an advocacy centre to realize women's quota in parliament.

The place was an abandoned school block.

The Minister of Women and Human Rights Development Her Excellency Hanifa Mohamed Ibrahim along with the State Minister in the Prime Minister’s office, His Excellency Abdihakim Ashkir officially launched the newly-refurbished centre on 24 January 2021.

Her excellency Ibrahim said during the launch that the centre was not only for election purposes but also as a meeting place for women to discuss women’s affairs, including politics and social affairs.

“For now, this centre will fully operate on the election issues for securing the women’s minimum 30 percent quota. We have over forty seats in the centre, and it is equipped with a telephone. We will also have a police section within the centre in case a woman candidate feels threatened or face restrictions imposed by her clan for contesting for a position, and they need to get immediate assistance,” said her excellency Ibrahim.

She said the government is working on establishing similar facilities across the regions of Somalia. “The centre opened in Mogadishu will be the main one and will be linked to those in the regions,” she added.

The State Minister in the Prime Minister’s office, His Excellency Ashkir said he was in support of the advocacy efforts to increase the quota of women in parliament and efforts to empower women.

”I would like to thank the Minister of Women and Human Rights Development, her deputy and the entire the staff of the ministry for establishing and implementing this centre. It is a significant achievement for all Somali women, particularly those in politics,” said His Excellency Ashkir.

 His Excellency Ashkir speaking at the launching ceremony 

The launching ceremony was attended by many Somali female lawmakers from the Upper House and Lower House of Parliament and a diverse group of people, including women activists and organizations.

Member of Parliament Honorable Anab Hasan Elmi emphasized the importance of the centre in the quest to empower women saying previously, there was no specific place assigned for women issues.

“This centre will improve the ability for all women, especially those who want to participate in the upcoming elections and will also be an inspirational point for Somali women politicians,” said Honorable Elmi.

 inside the facility

Ms. Jawahir Barqab, the chairperson for Banadir Women Organization, also expressed her appreciation to the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development for establishing the centre.

“I am happy to witnesses the launch of the first centre in Banadir region that will be dedicated to achieving the 30 percent quota of women in Parliament,” said Ms. Jawahir.