The Public Perception About The Role Of Women In The Electoral Process In Somaliland

 

This study is commissioned by Somaliland Women Network (NAGAAD) with the aim of assessing the public perceptions about women’s role in the election process in Somaliland. In doing so this study has set out to identify the factors that could impact on the public perceptions about women’s role in the electoral process and the related issues that may tend to impeded women’s political participation in the democratic process. In other words this study has examined the challenges and threats faced by women voters and candidates during the election periods in the country in order to find ways of addressing those challenges before the incoming elections. 

Table of Contents

 

Table of Contents 2

ACKNOWLEDGMENT 3

LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES 4

LIST OF ACRONYMS 4

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 5

Key findings: 7

1. INTRODUCTION 7

1.1. Background and context 8

1.2. Objectives of the Study 10

2. SURVEY METHODOLOGY 11

2.1. Survey Preparation 11

2.2. Survey Activity Sequence 12

2.3. Work Plan 12

3. DATA COLLECTION 13

3.1. Questionnaire 13

3.2. Focus group discussion 13

3.3. Key Informant Interviews 14

2.4. Scope of the research 14

2.5. Study Limitations 14

2.6. Fieldwork 15

2.7. Data Processing 15

4. ANALYSIS OF FINDINGS 15

5. Public perceptions about women’s role in the electoral process 17

6. Challenges faced by women voters & candidates 21

Box 1: Case Study 23

Box 2: Case study 24

6.1. Way forward 25

Gender issues 25

Awareness campaign 26

7. CONCLUSION 27

Recommendations 27

8. REFERENCES 29

9. APPENDICES 30

Survey Questionnaire 30

LIST OF QUESTIONS FOR THE FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION 36

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

 

NAGAAD is grateful to UN Women who made this study possible by providing us with the necessary resources and advice to undertake the research. We would also like to thank Smart Consultancy and Training Agency (SCOTRA) who conducted the study and submitted the report on time.

 

A special thanks to the Chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) Mr. Abdulkadir Iiman gave us his valuable time, as one of KIIs, and answered some pertinent questions related to the challenges faced by women voters and aspirants during the elections in Somaliland. We are also grateful to everyone who assisted us in different ways including information and advice about the assessment as well as helping us organise FGDs and KIIs. We particularly indebted to Amina Haji Mohamoud and Hodan Ahmed Abdillahi who both gave the research team their time, as KIIs, to answer many questions related to their candidacy in the Parliament and Council respectively and why they didn’t succeed.

 

Finally, we are thankful to all supervisors, enumerators and research respondents and participants who made this study possible, at a time when the country was going through a severe drought that decimated the crops and the livestock of the pastoral people. We are also grateful to our staff in the regions who gave continuous support and help to the research team throughout the survey period.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES

 

TABLES:

Table 1: Gender Statistics of important national institutions:

Table 2: Presidential Election Process Training Activities’ Participants

Table 3: The geographical coverage of the study by zone, region and district

Table 4: Survey Work Plan

Table 5: Summary of data collection

Table 6: Characteristics of respondents

Table 7: Distribution of FGD groups by districts

Table 8: Have you ever voted in any of the last elections?

Table 9: If yes, which round of elections did you vote?

Table 10: Reason for not voting

Table 11: Women’s voting rights

Table 12: Major impediments facing women voters/candidates

Table 13: How to improve women’s role the political process

 

 

FIGURES:

Figure 1: Type of election respondents voted

Figure 2: Reasons not voted for women

Figure 3: Perception of women’s rights

Figure 4: Reasons why respondents did not vote

Figure 5: Main challenges faced by women during elections

LIST OF ACRONYMS

 

CG Central Government

CBO Community Based Organisation

DFID Department for International Development

FGD Focus Group Discussion

JPLG Joint Program on Local Governance

KII Key Interview Informant

MoI Ministry of Interior

NEC National Electoral Commission

UNDP United Nations Development Program

UNFPA United Nations Population Fund

 

 


 


 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This study is commissioned by Somaliland Women Network (NAGAAD) with the aim of assessing the public perceptions about women’s role in the election process in Somaliland. In doing so this study has set out to identify the factors that could impact on the public perceptions about women’s role in the electoral process and the related issues that may tend to impeded women’s political participation in the democratic process. In other words this study has examined the challenges and threats faced by women voters and candidates during the election periods in the country in order to find ways of addressing those challenges before the incoming elections.

 

Clearly in Somaliland there is evidence that women are facing huge challenges in terms of their full participation of the electoral process, both as voters and aspirants, for example, according to the study a whopping 78% have never voted for women candidates while only 22% have voted for women candidates. One important issue is lack of political participation among women, and that is not because they don't want to get involved in the political process; it is rather the political system and its process that allows candidates to be selected on clan basis which puts barriers on the way of Somaliland women. To underline that point for example, the study has found that about 33% of respondents who didn't vote for women during last elections stated that they did so because there were no women candidates and had no problem to vote for women if there were candidates.

 

The study also indicates that women voters in Somaliland are affected by negative beliefs based on religious prejudice, as reflected in the significant number of respondents 35% who stated in the survey that the reason they didn’t vote for women is religious grounds. In the meantime 16% of respondents noted the reason they didn't vote for women was because they thought that women would not win, such a misconception needs to change if women were to make inroads into the political arena. Conversely an overwhelming number of respondents have acknowledged women’s rights to vote. For example, the number of respondents who, when asked, said yes women have citizen/democratic rights to vote is a great majority (82%). However there are a significant minority who also said that women have no right to vote 18%, something that needs to be tackled.

 

According to the survey the great majority of respondents have acknowledged that women face challenges during the election campaigns and voting periods. For example, 73% of respondents have said yes, women do face challenges while a significant number (27%) have noted that women don’t face any challenges. When respondents were asked as to what was the main impediments that are stopping women winning elections or holding higher offices in the country? The largest number (38%) said that cultural and religious barriers (reason) were behind the discrimination against women. While the second highest 21% said it was misconceptions about women’s ability to hold higher office.

 

The misperceptions about women’s ability to lead and run office needs to be recognized and given its contextual sensitivities related to the gender balance issue and as attested to the above noted reasons it is pertinent to undertake nationwide civic education programs with a view to tackle these challenges based on gender issues by targeting both men and women as contributors to addressing gender imbalances. In this regard a main activity needed would be creating awareness among males in leadership positions at national, regional, district and community levels, highlighting the positive effects for both men and women. Conversely, women should be targeted so as to appreciate the value of getting them involved in political participation since they are considered to be the majority of voters.

 

It is hoped that the findings of the study will help galvanise decision makers to implement policies that will empower women to achieve their political rights through the adoption of policies and legislations to ensure adequate women's political participation at leadership positions. In addition, the study is proposing a way forward to ameliorate the situation and make recommendation in ways of strengthening women’s capacities to participate in electoral processes both as candidates and voters at all levels in the 2017 election in Somaliland. It is equally expected that the findings of the study will contribute towards promoting gender balance by increasing awareness on democratic elections among community members.

 

Notwithstanding the need to mitigate the gender inequality in Somaliland concerning all aspects of political decisions as amply highlighted in this research it is important to note here that people associate the issue of “gender equity” with suspicion as put it bluntly by a religious leader (Sheikh Ahmed Ali) one of the KIIs in Hargeisa who expressed that “gender equality is a foreign import and it is against our religion”. He added that “we are not against our women playing a role in the political decision-making because we entrust big parts of our lives to women but we don’t want gender equality”. In light of such a hostile attitude towards “gender equality” there is a need to use terms that are less conspicuous such as “gender balance” so that people don’t misperceive it.

 

The findings of the study will provide organisations like NAGAAD who is already working with women, in this setting, a clear path and the right information to formulate appropriate strategies to help relevant stakeholders at regional and community level to build their capacities to participate as candidates and voters in the forthcoming elections as the study will provide evidence for the need to increase women’s access and participation in the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections by improving stakeholders understanding on the issues of women quota, as the only way to safeguard women’s full participation and representation of the political process in Somaliland.

Key findings:
  • There is an evidence that women voters are facing huge challenges when it comes to being elected or voted to office, for example according to the study more than two third of participants (78%) have never voted for women candidates while only 22% have voted for women candidates. There is a lack of political participation among women and that is due to the current political system and the representation which accepts that all candidates are selected from clans and thereby putting barriers on the way of potential women candidates in Somaliland.


 

  • The study has found that about 33% of respondents who didn't vote for women during last elections stated that they did so because there were no women candidates and would have probably voted for women if there were candidates. Women voters in Somaliland are affected by negative beliefs based on religious prejudice, as reflected in the significant number of respondents 35% who stated in the survey that the reason they didn’t vote for women is religious grounds.


 

  • Significant number of respondents (16%) mentioned the reason they didn't vote for women was because they thought that women would not win, such a misconception needs to change if women have to make inroads into the political arena. The number of respondents who, when asked, said yes women have citizen/democratic rights to vote is a great majority (82%). However, there are a significant minority who also said that women have no right to vote 18%, something that needs to be addressed.


 

  • The great majority of respondents (73%) when asked whether women face challenges during the election campaigns and voting periods said yes women do face great deal of challenges in Somaliland. In addition when asked as to what was the main impediments to women getting elected or holding higher offices in the country the largest number (38%) said that it was cultural and religious reasoning that was behind the discrimination against women.


 

  • The future success of women in Somaliland in the political process and democratic representation depends on how the factors that impact on the public perceptions about women’s role in the society including cultural, religious, political and economic aspects are mitigated with a view to tackle the challenges and threats they tend to face by creating a Quotas for women candidates only. This is in line of what 24% of respondents have suggested thereby helping enable women voters and candidates to exercise their democratic and human rights and participate in the elections fully without any prejudice or fear.

 

1. INTRODUCTION

Although Somaliland has organized and held five successful elections since 2002, it continues to face challenges particularly in terms of incorporating gender balance policies in its political participation and process. Generally many factors hinder women's political participation in Somaliland, such as the patriarchal nature of society, religious beliefs, and political parties being slow to respond to women's interests, under-investment in women's campaigns, poverty, traditional and cultural barriers, and conflicting demands on the time of women candidates due to their domestic and social responsibilities. According to the study 12.6% didn’t vote, mostly women, due to family/domestic duties including looking after children and herding animals etc., and that is something worth looking at.

 

The study has covered all 6 regions of the country (3 rural districts and 3 urban districts) and focused more specifically on three major issues known to be some of the impediments experienced by women voters and/or candidates:

  • Issues around freedom to canvassing or campaigning,

  • Security for women voters and candidates,

  • Physical or verbal violence against women during campaigns and voting periods.

 

In addition to the analysis that the survey set out to examine included other pertinent issues such as access to resources, information and protection from gender based violence (GBV).

 

The survey carried out analysis of various sources of information, including desk analysis, survey data and interviews with voters, ex-candidates (women) government officials, traditional and religious leaders as well as politicians and through the cross-validation of the collected data. The study team consisted of senior researcher, supervisors and enumerators.

 

The data collection process of the study involved in both quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques, as well as an ample review of secondary data; this has allowed obtaining a more complete picture of the perceptions of the public about the role of women in the election campaign and the challenges they face. Whenever possible, since each method of data collection has its biases and weaknesses, the integration of different survey techniques and data collection, known as triangulation, was used to limit the risk of distortions of the results.

 

Depending on the type of respondents, three different methods of data collection were utilised in the study, in particular: questionnaires, key informant interviews (KIIs) and focus group discussions (FGD). Finally the survey has followed the key objectives, as set out in the Terms of Reference (ToR) with its timeline.

1.1. Background and context

According to Article 8 (1) of the Somaliland Constitution:

“All citizens of Somaliland shall enjoy equal rights and obligations before the law, and shall not be accorded precedence on grounds of colour, clan, birth, language, gender, property, status, opinion etc.”

 

Despite this clear cut declaration of the constitution women in Somaliland face huge challenges in every aspect of their social, economic and political lives including:

 

  • Experiencing great deal of gender inequality engendering them to remain less educated,

  • Having less access to traditional clan resources and influence as well as parliamentary and executive power,

  • Having less professionals hence fewer important jobs and less wealth than their counterparts,

  • Experiencing severe cases of poverty and their human rights are often ignored and violated.

 

As a result women in Somaliland today remain the most vulnerable group in society as they face discrimination and subordination in every aspect of the political process and as a result, remain heavily under-represented in the political and socio-economic structures of the country. Paradoxically in Somaliland women are the majority as they make up about 60% of the population, yet they remain a minority in elected offices and senior posts in the executive branch of Government. In the political participation the Constitution of Somaliland states that:

Every citizen shall have the right to participate in the political, economic, social and cultural affairs in accordance with the laws and the Constitution” (Article 22:1), in addition the constitution also states that “Every citizen who fulfils the requirements of the law shall have the right to be elected (to a public office) and to vote” (Article 22:2).

 

Despite the Constitution of Somaliland stating in no uncertain terms that all the citizens have the right to participate in the political affairs of the country there are many factors that are hindering women's political participation in Somaliland. Looking at the table below it is evident that the marginalisation of women in both national and local decision-making is more pronounced than perhaps what people acknowledge and is relevant in all institutions.

 

Table 1: Gender Statistics of important national institutions:

No.

Institution

Seats

Men

%

Women

%

1.

House of Elders (Guurti)

82

82

100%

0

0%

2.

House of Representative 2005

82

81

98.78%

1

1.21%

3.

Local Councillors 2012

375

365

97.33%

10

2.67%

4.

Cabinet members 2016

57

53

94%

3

6%

TOTAL

589

575

97.52

14

2.47%

Source: NAGAAD Network

 

This table shows that women in Somaliland aren’t only under-represented but not represented at all, which means they tend to suffer from discrimination including political and electoral marginalization as well as less visible sexual and gender based violence. Clearly this lack of representation undermines the constitutional and human rights of women and act as a barrier to women’s enjoyment of their political rights.

 

However it important to be cognizant if the fact that there are resistance and lack of commitment which could hinder any gender related interventions without putting in place the proper strategy to implement them with resources backed by political commitment. For example a review of Women and Children’s Desk at police stations in Somaliland showed that there was lack of commitment which rendered gender specific interventions counter-productive. In this case, women became further marginalized from receiving assistance from the police, because the WCD’s were not sufficiently incorporated into the overall structure of the police stations1.

 

Given the above the status quo will remain unless drastic and fundamental changes are made to empower the civil society, particularly, women’s organizations like NAGAAD with a view to organize serious awareness campaigns and lobbying that holds the government institutions and political parties to account with clear vision on how to formulate and implement the right policies starting with addressing women’s lack of representation and legislating quotas for women candidates.

 

In Somaliland the responsibility of the electoral process lies with the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the new commissioners have their work cut out as they need to review the way the election process was handled by the last commissioners. The table below shows that more than 77.6% of the staff who worked in the last election Presidential elections was male and only 22.3% were female; something that points out that representation among women is very low given the fact that they represent around 60% of the population2.

 

Table 2: Presidential Election Process Training Activities’ Participants

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION PROCESS TRAINING PARTICIPANTS

Total Number of Participants

Men

Women

Regional and District Electoral Officers (REOs/DEOs)

148

124 (83.78%)

24 (16.21%)

Regional Trainers or Training of Trainers (ToTs)

39

33 (84.61%)

6 (15.38%)

University Students and Teachers (display centre staff)

5401

4180 (77.39%)

1221 (22.60%)

TOTAL

5588

4337 (77.61%)

1251 (22.38%)

Source: Somaliland National Electoral Commission

 

1.2. Objectives of the Study

The primary purpose of this study was to assess the public perception about the role of women in the electoral process with the aim of establishing avenues and coalitions to ensure women’s representation and participation in the incoming Somaliland elections which are going to take place in the beginning of 2017.

 

The main objectives of the study were to:

  • Conduct a light survey on community perception on women’s election campaigns and voting.

  • List some of the major challenges and threats faced by both women voters and candidates during election periods.

  • Make recommendations on ways of mitigating those challenges and threats based on the findings of the study;

  • Capture the perspectives of the public and how to change their attitude towards women candidates.

  2. SURVEY METHODOLOGY

The survey team consisted of the lead researcher, 2 supervisors and 8 enumerators. The survey has followed the key objectives of the study, as set out in the Terms of Reference. The survey was carried out through analysis of various sources of information, including desk analysis, survey data and interviews with voters, ex-candidates (women) government officials, traditional and religious leaders as well as politicians and through the cross-validation of the collected data. The study team visited all 6 regions identified for the study (coverage areas) and the data was collected using quantitative and qualitative data gathering tools. The field mission was undertaken for a period of 5 to 6 days and included logistical preparation, field data collection such as: questionnaires, focus group discussion (FGD) and interviews (KIIs). A data collection matrix was set up with input, output, intermediate results, outcomes and relative indicators, both qualitative and quantitative.

2.1. Survey Preparation

This involved in undertaking a literature review including: publications, reports and studies of past elections in Somaliland. One of the problems encountered was paucity of literature concerning the subject of the study and it was difficult to get hold of research documents or studies and information on this issue. Getting the full context of the situation would mean meeting with some of the main stakeholders in the electoral process such as commissioners from the National Electoral Commission (NEC), as well as politicians, district managers, local stakeholders, communities and other personnel involved in the election process.

 

Table 3: The geographical coverage of the study by zone, region and district

 

NO.

ZONE

REGION

DISTRICT

LIVELIHOOD CATEGORY

RESPONDENTS

PERCENT

1.

WEST

Maroodi-Jeex

Hargeisa

Urban

100

38.4

Borama

Dila

Agro-Pastoral

20

7.7

3.

CENTRAL

Tog-dheer

Burao

Urban

50

19.2

Sool

Las-Anod

Agro-pastoral

50

19.5

3.

EAST

Sanaag

El-Afwayn

Urban

20

7.7

Saaxil

Dacar Budhuq

Agro-Pastoral

20

7.7

Total

N=260

260

100%

 

 

During the survey preparation phase, an analytical framework was developed to allow the creation of data collection tools. The tools went through a process of testing, to measure their appropriateness. It is believed that the development of good indicators would involve a clear understanding of what has to be surveyed on, how to survey it, which kind of tools, scales or quantitative or qualitative instruments have to be used in order to conduct the survey and achieve its objectives successfully.

2.2. Survey Activity Sequence

The survey was done according to the ToR:

  1. The researcher developed the tools required to collect all the information according to the methodology proposed.

  2. The researcher prepared the survey and designed the methodology that was utilized to achieve the stated objectives of the study.

  3. NAGAAD made available the assigned regional staffs to accompany the researcher and the enumerators during the field visit.

  4. The researcher visited and collected all the data completed by respondents of the study with the supervision of the enumerators.

  5. The collected data was entered into the system (SPSS), sifted, interpreted and analysed.

  6. The duration of the survey work lasted about 20 days including field works and travel time.

  7. After submitting the first draft the researcher is expected to validate the survey by inviting respondents and stakeholders and presenting the findings.

  8. Preparation of the final report: within a week of the validation the researcher is expected to submit a completed final report to NAGAAD.

2.3. Work Plan

In order to undertake the study in an orderly manner a work plan detailing how the assessment work would be carried out with clear timeline, of course based on the original time plus the extension, was drafted and shared with NAGAAD. Each activity was noted and its description in terms of the work that needed to be completed and its timeline was also mentioned in the work plan. The details of the work plan are noted below (Table 3).

 

Table 4: Survey Work Plan

Expected Output

Planned Activities

Time Frame

Means of Verification

Development of the study methodology and tools

 

  • Signing ToR for the study

  • Development of work plan with planned activities.

  • Submitting study methodology and tools.

  • Formulating the Questionnaires, FGDs and KIIs.

  • Outline of the study report.

7th – 11th March, 2016

  • Work plan.

  • Questionnaire and FGDs.

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution of Questionnaire, FGDs and KIIs (Data Collection)

13th – 19th March 2016

 

Field study using questionnaires and other tools to gather data and analyze them

  • Start gathering field data using the methodology tools including questionnaires, FGDs and KIIs.

 

 

Collection of completed questionnaires, FGDs and KIIs feedbacks.

 

Data Entry, Analysis, Processing and Preliminary interpretation.

20th – 27th March 2016

 

 

  • First Draft Produced

 

  • Validation workshop.

  • Final draft.

  • First Draft of the Assessment Report.

  • Conducting Validation Workshop.

  • Integrating comments, feedback and recommendations from the workshop into the Report.

  • Revising, Proofreading and Improving the Assessment Report.

  • Submission of the Final Version of the Report.

3rd April 2016

 

12th April 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17th April 2016

  • First Draft of the Report

  • Validation workshop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Final draft.

3. DATA COLLECTION

Data collection involved in both quantitative and qualitative techniques, as well as an ample review of secondary data; this has allowed obtaining a more complete picture of the perceptions of the public about the role of women in the election campaign and the challenges they face. Whenever it was possible, since each method of data collection has its biases and weaknesses, the integration of different survey techniques and data collection, known as triangulation, was used to limit the risk of distortions of results. Thus, depending on the type of respondents, different methods of data collection were used, in particular: questionnaires, Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and Key Informant Interviews (KIIs). These data collection tools were utilized in the study on the basis of finding out public perceptions about the role of women in the electoral process during election campaigns and actual voting periods.

3.1. Questionnaire

Quantitative data have been gathered by the use of a questionnaire designed to assess the main challenges experienced by women voters and candidates during and after elections in Somaliland and the perception, negative or otherwise that people (voters) have about women. The questionnaire have been purposefully kept simple and focused on whether women in Somaliland are held negative or positive perceptions when it comes to their roles in the election campaigns and whether they face challenges to exercise their electoral duties. As indicated earlier, structured questionnaires were administered to 260 individuals. They were designed to gather quantitative data from respondents on their perceptions about women’s role in the elections and their own rights and obligations vis-à-vis local, parliamentary and presidential elections in the country.

3.2. Focus group discussion

Quantitative and qualitative data derived from the survey questionnaires were complemented with a qualitative FGD. To ensure freedom of expression of opinions, groups have been divided into men and women. Due to time pressure the study managed to organize one FGD in Burao, instead of the originally planned two rounds of FGDs (Burao and Hargeisa). The FGD was held around a predetermined series of general questions related particularly to the perceptions of the public about women’s role in the electoral process (voters and candidates) and the challenges they face during the campaign and voting periods. The survey supervisor in Burao led the FGD and questions were translated into Somali (See FGD questions as appendices), the FGD participants were both male and female electorates representing a cross section of the society.

3.3. Key Informant Interviews

Key Informant Interviews were conducted with a fairly open framework that allowed for focused, conversational, two-way communication. A guide for KIIs was developed prior to the beginning of the field work; however, not all the questions were designed and phrased in advance, since some KIIs were created during the interviews, allowing both the interviewer and the interviewee the flexibility to discuss issues and freely express opinions and experiences. People who were interviewed as KIIs gave their perspectives on how the great imbalance could be mitigated before the coming elections, there were also others who took a less warm approach on the issue “gender equality”.

 

Table 5: Summary of data collection

No.

Tool

Method

Respondents

Number

Male

female

1.

Questionnaire

Quantitative

Members of the public (voters)

260

121

139

2.

Focus Group Discussions

Qualitative

  • Voters/Electorates

  • Religious leaders

  • Traditional/clan elders

7

3

4

3.

Key Informant Interviews

Qualitative

  • Members of the National Electoral Commission (NEC)

  • Ex-candidates (women)

  • Security officers

  • Politicians

  • Religious leaders

5

3

2

  2.4. Scope of the research

The scope of the study was the following:

  • Designing study methodology and required tools for the study and update the assignment work plan.

  • Training, deploy and supervise field researchers/enumerators.

  • Conducting field based assessment (key informant interviews, focus group discussion and questionnaires), analyse and interpret data and undertake report synthesis

  • Facilitating validation workshop on the findings of the study with stakeholders;

  • Briefing with NAGAAD and UN Women in order to develop common understanding of the scope of the assignment and the key issues to be addressed.

  • Finalizing study report, debrief NAGAAD and UN Women and deliver final report

2.5. Study Limitations

Some of the main limitations encountered by the team are noted below:

 

  • The timeline to conduct this kind of study was rather short and the coverage areas could have been made larger and the number of respondents more;

  • There was a paucity of literature on the subject of the study, as little tangible recent information on the topic existed in Somaliland.

  • Some of the senior officials from the selected government institutions were less interested to fill in the questionnaires fully and provide us with the data that we needed for the study;

  • There was lack of understanding about the benefits of such a study could have for the women’s political participation from the part of some women who were not serious about the issues;

  • Another challenge was that almost all of the parliamentarians we approached weren’t available at the time of the study.

2.6. Fieldwork

The survey was preceded by an orientation or training session for the enumerators. The orientation focused on how to fill out questionnaire, interviewing techniques, and using checklists as materials. A day was allocated for the questionnaire pre-testing, where actual interviews were conducted, which led to changing some questions. Further, guidelines on conducting interviews and focus group discussions were issued. Two members of the team carried out individual interviews (KIIs), and one supervisor was focused on the FGD. The team leader at the supervisor facilitated review sessions at the end of each day.

2.7. Data Processing

All data from the questionnaires were analysed using SPSS. The frequencies and cross tabulation tables produced in this report are based on the data entered in SPSS. These have been modified in some cases to provide the relevant information. Data from the key informant interviews were transcribed into a template created in Excel, prepared for purposes of visualising the information. Themes were derived according to the reporting framework, which is based on the ToR.

 

4. ANALYSIS OF FINDINGS

Of the total survey respondents, 53.46% (N=139) were female and 46.15% (N=121) were male. The level of education was low as most respondents 48.4% (N=126) said they either attended Quranic schools or went to primary/intermediate education; those who went to secondary education were 21% (N=55) while university degree levels were 14.2% (N=37). In terms of their livelihood categories more than 35.3% (N=92) of respondents were unemployed; while 18.8% (N=49) were business persons, and 20% (N=52) and 16.5% (N=43) were self-employed and public employees, respectively. A few stated that they were traditional or religious leaders, and others mentioned pastoralists with no specific jobs. Most female respondents were either unemployed or housewives. The age range is representative of different age groups – from teenage to the elderly. The youngest person interviewed is 16 and the oldest 80. The average age is 34 years. With a standard deviation of 20, the majority fall within the ages 20-50. On marital status, more than 47% of respondents were single and 41% were married while more than 8% were divorced and 2% widowed.

Table 6: Characteristics of respondents

Marital status

Respondents

Percent

Single

124

47.6

Married

108

41.5

Divorced

22

8.5

Widowed

6

2.4

Total

N=260

260

100%

Employment

Respondents

Percent

Public employee

43

16.5

Self employed

52

20

Business person

49

18.8

Unemployed

92

35.3

Others

24

9.2

Total

N=260

260

100%

Education level

Respondents

Percent

Quranic, Primary & Intermediate School

126

48.4

Secondary school

55

21.1

Diploma

18

6.9

Degree

37

14.2

Master

14

5.4

Other

11

4.2

Total

N=260

260

100%

Age

Respondents

Percent

Male

121

46.5

Female

139

53.4

Total

N=260

260

100%

The only FGD session conducted in this study consisted of 7 people and was organised in Burao district with a range of groups from the wider electoral spectrum. These included: women’s groups, youth groups, business, formers candidates, traditional elders and religious leaders etc. Emphasis was on ensuring that different sections of the society were represented in the study. The distribution of the FGDs is presented in the table below. The great majority of the FGD participants 71.4% were in favour of supporting women aspirants and more than 57% said that they agreed with introducing quota system.

 

Table 7: Distribution of FGD groups by districts

Type of Group

District

Burao

Total

Women’s groups

1

1

Youth groups

1

1

Business groups

1

1

Former candidate

1

1

Elders

1

1

Religious leader

1

1

NGO

1

1

Total

7

7

 

A semi-structured checklist was developed for interviews with 5 opinion leaders (elders, civil society leaders, former election candidates (woman), professionals and religious leaders) in Hargeisa districts, regarding the challenges and threats faced by women voters and candidates during election periods in Somaliland. The average age of the key informants was 48 years. The youngest was 29 and the oldest 77 yrs. The majority (65%) had secondary education and above. Of these, 35% were university graduates and 26% had attained a secondary qualification.

  5. Public perceptions about women’s role in the electoral process

Generally many factors hinder women's political participation in Somaliland, such as the patriarchal nature of the society, religious beliefs/perceptions, and political parties being slow to respond to women's interests, under-investment in women's campaigns, poverty, traditional and cultural barriers, and conflicting demands on the time of women candidates due to their domestic and social responsibilities. According to the study 12.6% of respondents, mostly women, didn’t vote, due to family and/or domestic duties including looking after the children or sick relative or herding animals etc.

 

There is evidence that women in Somaliland are facing a huge struggle when it comes to their political aspirations and being elected or voted into a high office and that is certainly not helped by the negative perceptions about women’s ability to win. For example, according to the study more than three quarters (78% or N=204) of respondents have never voted for women candidates; only 22% have voted for women candidates in the previous elections (parliament and municipality). One important issue that can be deducted from the findings is lack of political participation among women, and that is not because they don't want to get involved in the political process. It is rather the political system and the political process that puts barriers on the way of Somaliland women. For example, the study has found that about 33% (N=86) respondents who didn't voted for women during last elections stated that they did so because there were no women candidates.

 

The study has also found that a significant number of respondents 23.4% (N=59) have not voted as a result of not being registered at the same time 5.7% (N=15) were under age (N=6 or 2.3%) barred from voting (N=5 or 1.9%) while others (N=33 or 12.6%) didn't vote for reasons including lack of transport, sickness, no one to look after animals and children etc.

 

Table 8: Have you ever voted in any of the last elections?

 

Respondents

Percent

Respondents who voted

200

76.6

Respondents who not voted

60

23.4

Total

N=260

260

100%

 

As shown in the table below (table 9) when respondents were asked which round of elections (i.e. presidential, parliament and local councils) did they voted? The biggest number 50.5% (N=101) said they voted in the presidential election while about respondents 25% (N=50) said they voted in the parliament and 24.5% (N=49) in the municipality elections.

 

Table 9: If yes, which round of elections did you vote?

 

 

Respondents

Percent

Parliament

50

25

Presidential

101

50.5

Local municipality

49

24.5

Total

N=200

200

100%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This means by far the presidential elections are more important for voters as in many parts of the world. If the data is disaggregated further on gender basis then 60% of men and 40% of women respectively voted during the presidential. That figure is reversed during the last municipality election where the majority of voters were woman which means women are more interested in the local politics than men who are keen to vote the Presidential elections.

 

Figure 1: Type of election respondents voted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The study also indicates that political aspirations of women candidates in Somaliland are affected by a negative beliefs based on religious prejudice, as reflected in the significant number of respondents who stated in the survey that the reason they didn’t vote for women is religious grounds (N=72 or 27.6%).

 

Figure 2: Reasons not voted for women

 

 

In the meantime 11.5% of respondents (N=30) noted the reason they didn't vote for women was because they thought that women would not win, such a misconception needs to change if women have to make inroads into the political arena.

 

Table 10: Reason for not voting

 

Respondents

Percent

Under age

6

2.3

Not registered

15

5.7

Barred from voting

5

1.9

Other reasons

33

12.6

Total

60

23.0

Those who voted

200

77.0

Total

N=260

260

100%

 

 

Conversely an overwhelming number of respondents have acknowledged women’s rights to vote. For example, the number of respondents who, when asked, said YES women have citizen/democratic rights to vote are the great majority (N=214 or 82%). However there are a significant minority who also said that women have no right to vote (N=46 or 17.6%)

 

Table 11: Women’s voting rights

 

 

Respondents

Percent

Women have right to vote

214

82.4

Women have no right to vote

46

17.6

Total

260

99.6%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Respondents were asked whether they have ever voted in elections. 76.6% said yes they have voted and 23.3% said that they have never voted. Among those who never voted quarter of them (25%) said that they didn't vote because they were barred from voting as they were not registered.

 

Figure 3: Perception of women’s rights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However when data is desegregated further another 33% who didn't voted mentioned that the reason they didn't vote was because they had family or domestic duty which didn't allow them to vote. In addition some women respondents noted that they felt intimidated and they also complained about lack of women only toilets in the polling stations. It is the responsibility of NEC plus Ministry of Interior (MoI) to make sure that these provisions are available for women.

 

Among the respondents who voted for women (22%) the great majority of them (74%) voted during the local elections while only 26% voted for parliament election, clearly showing more people want women to succeed in the local elections.

 

Figure 4: Reasons why respondents did not vote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When survey participants were asked: do women have any challenges during elections? More than 73% said Yes, women do face challenges, but a significant number of respondents (27% or N=70) said no women don't face challenges. Those who said yes where asked to score the highest reason for women's challenges, and 27% (N=52) out of the N=191 said the way candidates are selected was the main reason while 21% noted that it was physical intimidation and threats as the reason for the challenges. While 11% noted that many women are shy and reserved to mix with men in order to claim what are their rights. Those who said that women face no challenges (N=70) 30% said they say so because they were themselves women and 34% said they didn't know.

 

One of the most important questions asked to respondents was this: What do you think are the major impediments facing women to hold a higher office in the country? Rank what you consider to be the leading problems in order of their importance (1 for highest, 2 for second highest priority and so on).

 

Table 12: Major impediments facing women voters/candidates

 Problems

Respondents

Percent

Cultural and religious reasoning to discriminate women

100

38.3

Physical weakness that stops women to undertake heavy work

32

12.3

Misconceptions about women’s ability to hold higher office

55

21.1

Lack of available qualified women for higher political posts

17

6.5

Lack of affirmative policies to promote women and give them quotas

24

9.2

Many women are shy and reserved to mix with men in order to claim what is their rights

24

9.2

Missing 6

9

3.4

Total

N=260

260

100%

Note: Six respondents are missing on this question

 

According to the findings of this survey the great majority of respondents have acknowledged that women face challenges during the election campaigns and voting periods. For example, 73.2% of respondents (N=191) have said yes, women do face challenges while a significant number N=70 or 26.8% have noted that women don’t face any challenges. When respondents were asked as to what was the main impediments to women holding higher offices in the country the largest number (N=100 or 38.3%) said that cultural and religious reasoning was behind the discrimination against women. While the second highest (N=55 or 21.1%) said it was misconceptions about women’s ability to hold higher office.

  6. Challenges faced by women voters & candidates

Despite successfully organizing five sets of elections since 2002 Somaliland continues to face challenges particularly in terms of incorporating gender balance policies in its political participation and process. In deed notwithstanding the needs to mitigate the gender inequality concerning all aspects of political decisions as amply highlighted in this research it is important to note here that in Somaliland people associate the issue of “gender equity” with suspicion as put it by a religious leader (Sheikh Ahmed Ali) who was one of the KIIs in Hargeisa who said that “gender equality is a foreign import and it is against our religion”. He added that “we are not against our women playing a role in the political decision-making because we entrust big parts of our lives to women but we don’t want gender equality since that is against our religion”. In light of such a hostile towards “gender equality” there is a need to use terms that are less conspicuous such as “gender balance” people don’t misperceive.

 

Figure 5: Main challenges faced by women during elections

 

 

Study participants were asked what needs to be done in order to improve women's role in the political or democratic process in the country and their answers are captured in the table below.

 

Table 13: How to improve women’s role in the political process

 

Respondents

Percent

Quotas for women candidates only

63

24.1

Promote women’s role in the society and raise awareness

23

8.8

Stop discrimination against women

58

22.2

Encourage women to participate in the democratic process

33

12.6

Implement gender policy to support women candidates

51

19.5

Protect women candidates from physical & verbal abuse

21

8.0

Other

10

4.2

Missing

1

.4

Total

N=260

260

100%

Note: One respondent is missing on this question

 

Table 13 clearly shows that significant numbers of respondents have stated that in order to bring about change and address the marginalisation of women in the political process the following areas need to be improved:

 

  • Quotas for women candidates only 24.1% (N=63)

  • Stop discrimination against women 22.2% (N=58)

  • Encourage and implement gender policy to support women candidates 19.5% (N=51)

  • Encourage women to participate in the democratic process 12.6% (N=33)

Box 1: Case Study

 

 

 

Ms Hodan Ahmed Abdillahi is selected as part of the study’s KIIs in Hargeisa. She was a local council candidate in Hargeisa under the current ruling Kulmiye Party in 2012. Hodan was the only women candidate from her party who nominated 25 people to contest for the capital seats including Hodan. She had experienced a lot of challenges during the election period be it in the campaign and in the election in terms of resources, motivation and support etc. She believes that one of the major challenges that women candidates face is traditional elders who don’t give women any chance to be selected. Hodan stated “because candidates are selected on the basis of clans that places leverage in the hands of elders who prefer male over the female from the clan”.

 

Hodan said that women are not conscious of their responsibilities regarding the need to help their fellow women aspirants get elected and both elders and politicians exploit that and as a result marginalize women. She expressed her frustration of the system by noting that there is a:

 

Dilemma for women because every woman hails from her particular clan but when you are married your clan regards that you belong to your husband’s clan and your husband’s clan would say you don’t belong to our clan, so you feel that women are caught between the two clans”.

 

Hodan noted that she suffered lack of resources and lack of full backing from the Party and she experienced constant harassment mainly in the form of shouting down and sarcasm which caused a great deal of stress and anxiety which made me question my chances even at an early stage because you sense that the tide is against you.

 

Hodan suggested that the only way that women’s representation in Somaliland’s and their democratic rights are guaranteed is to introduce a quota system for women before then next elections.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Box 2: Case study

 

 

 

Amina Haji Mohamoud Warsame (Amina Milgo) was the first women candidate for the Parliament elections of 2005. She was UCID Party and failed to attract enough voters to win the seat in Berbera.

 

She feels that women are up against strong elders’ and traditional leadership lobby who tend to put women under a very difficult situation particularly during the selection process which according to Amina “undermines the whole tenets of democracy”.

 

Amina said that the reason she didn’t attract enough voters to win the seat was because the constituency (i.e. clan) felt that she was not capable of winning and allocated all the essential resources to a male politician who despite lacking the education and capacity that she possessed won the seat. Amina noted that it was “very hurtful to learn that your clan was discriminating you simply because of your gender and you couldn’t do anything about it”.

 

Amina said that she didn’t encounter or experience any physical harassment or threats because most of the time she had male relatives around her but verbal criticism that I was undermining the clan’s chances and slandering based on that premise was common. One of the uncomfortable accusations people threw at me was like “you don’t deserve our support because you are married to another clan and you are only running to damage the chance of our clan”.

 

According to Amina without an active and sustained pressure group, there is no doubt that women’s political participation will not increase as quickly as desired. Women have to find a way to build a solid and inclusive network to support women’s rights and develop a common voice with specific interests and political agendas. Being supported by grass-roots associations and coalitions is a means to help women political aspirants overcome their sense of insecurity and become politically empowered and women’s organizations like NAGAAD need to be empowered to advocate and drive the message home.

 

Finally Amina strongly feels that the status quo could be changed if the following policies are implemented:

 

- Instead of the clan elders selecting the candidates; political parties must do the selection.

- Quota system must be introduced to help women get the chances.

- Women must challenge clan elders and persuade them to accommodate women.

- Women must get together and realize their power if they want to succeed in politics.

6.1. Way forward

Generally, women are inadequately represented at all levels of Government. Across the country whether urban or rural, women have less educational opportunities and therefore less participation in the local political and governance structures. This is a generally recognised characteristic of the Somali social context, which is bound by ‘clan and male dominance’, where women are generally excluded from all decision-making powers, and their role is seen as supporting men’s views, ideas and decisions.

 

Interviews with women groups and female key informants showed that the issues raised by them were not particularly issues affecting women. Out of the two FGDs that were organised, consisting almost 50% women only few have mentioned the point that women needed quotas. It is not surprising therefore to conclude that women themselves are not willing to participate in the political process. One important future work will be the existing donor funded programs to streamline their services, for example, DFID, JPLG, UN Women, UNFPA and UNDP all work in gender and there is a perception that these agencies are duplicating so perhaps setting up a working group on the issues raised in this study is a step in the right direction.

 

In Somaliland the responsibility for addressing institutional gender imbalances lies with everyone including the executive (government, parliament and judiciary) as well as civil society, religious leaders and traditional elder. However the lead agency in mainstreaming gender across all sectors is the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA). There is no doubt that gender is relatively new and quite sensitive in Somaliland and the Ministry needs to have vision which advances the ‘sustainable gender balance from family to macro levels’ in Somaliland.

 

While recognising the contextual sensitivities of the gender balance issue by virtue of the above noted reasons, it is pertinent to undertake nationwide civic education programs with a view to tackle these challenges based on gender issues by targeting both men and women as contributors to addressing gender imbalances. In this regard a main activity would be creating awareness among males in leadership positions at national, regional, district and community levels, highlighting the positive effects for both men and women. Conversely, women should be targeted so as to appreciate the value of getting involved in political participation.

Gender issues

Bringing the issue of gender imbalance into the fore is seen as a positive way forward strategy. This will promoting the gender issue in the most less sensitive manner and equality by increasing awareness on violence-free elections among community members, engendering civic and voter education manuals and establishing partnership with media houses to support campaigns activities for women candidates.

 

According to the Chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) Mr. Abdulkadir Iiman women must realize that “nobody is going to deliver seats on a plate so they have to use their numbers to elect women candidates”. He adds that in order to mitigate the poor representation of women in politics there are two options: firstly, Political parties must exercise their powers and encourage the selection of women in their respective parties. Secondly, government needs to lobby for the enactment of the draft law that has been sitting with the parliament for more than 10 years which gives Quota for women.

 

In this regard women need to be mobilized to articulate their specific needs, insights and motivations in order to allow for the emergence of leaders who are capable of expressing the points of view of the hitherto-silent half of society. In addition to the remarks noted above Chairman of NEC notes that “traditional leaders have also some responsibility in selecting female aspirants who are more educated and articulate than males from the same clan”. He mentions that the role of women in “investment and successfully raising children in the Diaspora is a testament to women’s position so they deserve to be given the chances and they could even be better than men in many ways”.

 

According to this study women need to be encouraged through affirmative actions involving civic and voter education through women organizations like NAGAAD with the aim of helping them to create their own political opinions where they can express clearly and in a relevant manner which goes beyond political orientations and seeks to achieve results through political parties and traditional elders. 19.5% of respondents have said that gender policy ought to be implemented. Another 12.6% mentioned empowering women to achieve their political rights by advocating for the adoption of policies and legislations to ensure adequate women's political participation and leadership positions, and strengthening women’s capacities to participate in electoral processes both as candidates and voters at all levels.

Awareness campaign

Creating awareness through the use of sensible and relevant information is a key to changing people’s attitude with respect to the perception of women’s participation in the electoral process. Voter and civic education programs are needed to help women get fully prepared to make the necessary step changes that will enable women cement their democratic rights and ensure their participation of the incoming elections.

 

Undertaking successful civic education using mass media requires not only TVs but multiple channels and avenues including the national radio (which is widely preferred and listened to by the rural communities who don’t get access to TVs) as well as websites, newspapers and social media etc. Hence changing attitudes would require not a piecemeal campaign but a long-term strategy to change hearts and minds of a rather patriarchal society so religious leaders and traditional elders could be utilized for that purpose.

 

In addition such a civic education campaign should also consider using ‘word of mouth’ which a proven phenomena among the Somalis and actually preferred by many people given the fact that most people are either literate or in low levels of education. Other effective and relatively cheaper methods will include drama or theatre which is popular among urban and rural communities.

 

There is already an existing draft (Somaliland House of Representatives Law 2005) which includes a women’s Quota was discussed and the debated over the women’s quota was taken to the highest level. The quota provisions are fully incorporated in 2005 law, but yet to be presented to parliament for approval. The percent proposed by the National Consultative Committee is 10% in the lower house of the parliament and 15% in the local councils3. The Chairman of the National Electoral Commission Mr. Abdilkadir Iiman believes a much higher Quota between 20% and 30%, which appears more reasonable, given the fact that “women are the majority voters in Somaliland”.

7. CONCLUSION

By way of conclusion this study will provide NAGAAD with the right information and clear path on the one hand formulate appropriate strategies to help relevant stakeholders at regional and community level to build their capacities to participate as candidates and voters in the forthcoming elections. On the other hand the study will provide evidence for the need to increase women’s access and participation in the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections by improving stakeholders understanding on the issues of women quota, as the only way to safeguard women’s full participation and representation of the political process in Somaliland.

 

It is hoped that the study will help galvanise decision makers to implement policies that will empower women to achieve their political rights through the adoption of policies and legislations to ensure adequate women's political participation at leadership positions. In addition, the study is proposing a way forward to ameliorate the situation and making recommendation in ways of strengthening women’s capacities to participate in electoral processes both as candidates and voters at all levels in the 2017 election in Somaliland.

 

It is equally expected that the findings of the study will contribute towards promoting gender balance by increasing awareness on democratic elections among community members. At the same time it will assist NAGAAD to continue its nationwide consultative forums to review the draft bill with members of parliament, political parties, women leaders in political parties, youth groups and religious/traditional leaders

 

Recommendations

Having laid down the scale of the negative public perception about women’s involvement in the political arena in Somaliland and the challenges and threats faced by women during the election periods this study makes the following recommendations with the aim of improving the situation:

 

  • Creating awareness among males in leadership positions at national, regional, district and community levels, highlighting the positive effects for both men and women when the latter are allowed to participate in the political process fully. Conversely, women should be targeted so as to appreciate the value of getting involved in political participation.

 

  • Recognizing the contextual sensitivities hence broad civic education programs should be promoted through NEC in order to advance the gender issues in the context of democratic and political rights and, therefore, target both men and women as contributors to addressing gender imbalances.

 

  • It is one of the major responsibilities of National Electoral Commission (NEC) to educate the public about the democratic multiparty electoral system in the country, and is therefore extremely important for NEC to become more proactive in promoting women’s civic and democratic rights to participate in the political process.

 

  • Build the capacities of community associations like NAGAAD network to foster women empowerment and utilize the media to promote women’s participation in the electoral process and strengthen their capacity in order to advance the political aspirations of women in the country;

 

  • Women are made aware of their rights using all mediums of communication and encouraged to participate and vote in the parliamentary as well as presidential elections and selecting female political candidates with adequate resources and access to all forms of media coverage for publicity purposes is enhanced;

 

  • Development donors/partners and aid organizations need to provide resources and technical support to ensure consistency in the implementation of gender mainstreaming tools and to streamline their assistance through that goal in order to reduce fragmentation as well as duplication.

 

  • Gender-sensitive and inclusive regulations and frameworks to promote women’s nomination and election at senior positions within political parties have been developed and implemented systems for tracking, monitoring and reporting violence against women during the election times are prepared;

 

  • Promote women quota task force with a view to lobby and urge parliamentarians to legislate for a 25% quota reserved for women candidates and train media professionals to gender equity and utilize the media to convey that message to all corners of the country including urban and rural areas;

 

  • Mainstreaming gender equality considerations in all institutional and organisational practices. This means all upcoming reforms need to be measured against their relevance on gender equity and interventions in bringing about the necessary changes.

 

  • Empower women to achieve their political rights by advocating for the adoption of policies and legislations to ensure adequate women's political participation and leadership positions, and strengthening women’s capacities to participate in electoral processes both as candidates and voters at all levels;

 

  • Promoting gender equality by increasing awareness on violence-free elections among community members, engendering civic and voter education manuals and establishing partnership with media houses to support campaigns activities for women candidates.

 

  • Capacity building, sharing of experience and information; lobbying and advocacy for the enactment of gender justice laws, voter education and shall seek to increase women’s consultation and engagement with the government authorities through information sharing, public dialogue and forums to build relationship.

 

  • Women need to get mobilized and articulate their specific needs, insights and motivations in order to allow for the emergence of leaders who are capable of expressing the points of view of the hitherto-silent half of society.

 

  • Women must have their own political opinions; they need to be able to express themselves clearly and in a manner that is relevant and not offensive, over-sensitive and emotional and they must be steadfast in their demand for justice and human rights as citizens of this country;

 

  • Advocating for the adoption of policies and legislations to ensure adequate women's political representation and leadership positions as well as strengthening women’s capacities to participate in electoral processes both as candidates and voters at all levels;

8. REFERENCES


 

1. UNDP Somalia Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Strategy (2011 – 2015), Progress Report, 2013.

2. Strengthening Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Somalia, Quarterly Report, 2015.

3. Report about NEC’s Training activities, July 2010.

4. UN Joint Programme on Local Governance and Decentralised Service Delivery, Outcome Evaluation System, Baseline for Somaliland, 2010.

 


 

9. APPENDICES

 

1. Survey Questionnaire (English)

 

 

Survey Questionnaire

 

  1. Personal Information

 

Name (optional): …………………………………………………

 

District: …………………………………….

 

Region: …………………………………….

 

 

What do you do for a living?

a) Public employee 

b) Self employed 

c) Business person 

d) Unemployed 

e) Others, please specify: ……………………………

 

Gender:

 

Age:

 

Marital Status:

Married  Single  Divorced 

Widowed 

 

  1. What is your level of education:

 Quranic

 Primary/Intermediate School

 Secondary school

 Diploma

 Degree

 

 Master

 Other, Please specify: …………………………

  1. Have you ever voted in any of the last elections?

  • Yes

If Yes, which round of elections did you voted?

a) Parliament 

b) Presidential 

c) Local municipality 

 

  • No

If No, why not, is it because you were:

a) Under age 

b) Not registered 

c) Barred from voting 

d) Other reasons  Please specify ……………………………………………………

 

  1. Do you think that women have citizen/democratic rights to vote?

  • Yes

 

 

  • No

If No, please state your reasons:

a) Religious (Islamic Sharia) 

b) Cultural 

c) Others 

Specify: ………………………………..………

…………………………………………………

 

  1. Have you ever voted for a woman candidate in the past elections?

  • Yes

If Yes, which of the following elections?

  • Parliament election

  • Local municipality

 

  • No

If No, please tell us the reason:

a) There were no women candidates 

b) I didn’t think women will win 

c) For religious reasons 

Others, please specify: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

  1. Do you think women face challenges during the election campaigns in the country?

  • Yes

If Yes, please score from 1 to 5, the highest being 5 and the lowest being 1:

a) The way candidates are selected (tribal system) -----

b) Lack of enthusiasm/interest for women candidates -----

c) Physical intimidation & threats -----

d) Sexual harassment -----

e) Verbal abuse -----

 No

If No, how do you substantiate your assertion:

a) I am a women myself 

b) I worked with women with women candidates 

c) I heard it from women candidates

d) I don’t know 

 

  1. What do you think are the major impediments facing women to hold a higher office in the country? Rank what you consider to be the leading problems in order of their importance (1 for highest, 2 for second highest priority and so on)

No.

Problems

Score

 

1.

Cultural and religious reasoning to discriminate women

 

2.

Physical weakness that stops women to undertake heavy work

 

3.

Misconceptions about women’s ability to hold higher office

 

4

Lack of available qualified women for higher political posts

 

5.

Lack of affirmative policies to promote women and give them quotas

 

6.

 

Many women are shy and reserved to mix with men in order to claim what is their rights

 

 

 

  1. How much do you think the suggestions below are essential for improving women’s role in the democratic process of the country? (excellent =5: very good =4: fairly good =3:negligible good =2: not good = 1)

Suggestions

Score

Quotas for women candidates only

 

 

Promote women’s role in the society and raise awareness

 

 

Stop discrimination against women

 

 

Encourage women to participate in the democratic process

 

 

Encourage and implement gender policy to support women candidates

 

 

Protect women candidates from physical & verbal abuse

 

 

 

Others, specify: …………………………………………………………………

 

………………………………………………………………………………..

 

 

 

 

Signature: …………………………………… Date: ……………….…………………

 

 

Thank you very much for your time and assistance in filling out the questionnaire for this important survey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Survey Questionnaire (Somali)

 

 

 

Su’aalo Cilmi Baadhis

 

1. Macluumaad Shakhsi

 

 

Magaca (adaa u door leh): …………………………………………………

 

Degmada: …………………………………….

 

Gobolka: …………………………………….

 

 

Maxaad ka shaqaysaa?

a) Shaqaale dawladeed 

b) Iskii u shaqayste 

c) Ganacasade 

d) Ma shaqeeyo 

e) Wax kale, fadlan faahfaahi: 

…………………………………………..

Lamaane: Rag  Dumar 

 

Da’da: ---------

 

Xaalada Guur: Reer leh  weli guursan 

 

Furay  laga dhintay 

 

2. Heerkaaga Waxbarasho:

 Dugsiga Hoose/Dhexe

 Dugsisa Sare

 Shahaadada Dibloomada

 Digriiga Jaamacada

 Shadaadada Mastarka

 Wax kale, fadlan faahfaahi: ………………………………………………

3. Weligaa ma ka codaysay mid ka mid ah doorashooyinkii la soo dhaafay?

  • Haa

Haa haday tahay, doorashadee ayaad ka codaysay?

a) Golaha Wakiilada 

b) Madaxwaynaha 

c) Deegaanka 

 

  • Maya

Maya haday tahay, waayo, maxaa yeelay:

a) Waxan ka yaraa da’dii lagu codaynayay 

b) Maan diiwaangashanayan 

c) Waxa lay diiday inaan codeeyo 

d) Sababo kale  Fadlan faahfaahi: ………………………………

4. Ma qabtaa inay haweenku leeyihiin xuquuq waddani/Diimuquraadi oo siinaysa inay codeeyaan?

  • Haa

Haa haday tahay u gudub su’aasha 5naad.

 

  • Maya

Maya haday tahay, fadlan qeex sababta:

a) Diinta/Shareecada 

b) Dhaqanka 

c) Sababo kale 

Fadlan faahfaahi: .…..…………………………

5. Weligaa ma u codaysay gabadh musharaxad ah doorashooyinkii la soo dhaafay?

  • Haa

Haa haday tahay, doorashadee ayaad u codaysay?

  • Doorashadii Golaha Wakiilada

  • Doorashadii Deegaanka

 

  • Maya

Haday maya tahay, fadlan noo sheeg sababta:

a) May jirin cid dumar ah oo sharaxan 

b) Maan qabin inay dumar guulaysan karaan 

c) Sabab la xidhiidha Shareecada 

Kuwo kale, fadlan sii faahfaahi: …………………………………………………

6. Ma u malaynaysaa inay haweenku la kulmaan carqalado xilliyada dorashooyinku dalka ka socdaan?

  • Haa

Haa haday tahay, fadlan siday u kala mudanyihiin u sii tirada 1 ilaa 5 tan ugu hoosaysaana waa 1:

a) Habka lagu soo xulo musharaxiinta (hab qabiil ah) -----

b) Xamaasad/xiiso aan loo qabin haweenka sharaxan -----

c) Baqdin gelin iyo hanjebaad darteed -----

d) Cagajuglayn faraxumayn -----

e) Afxumo ama aflagaado -----

 

 Maya

Haday maya tahay, sideed ku cadaynaysaa go’aankaaga:

a) Anigaa haween ah 

b) Waxan la shaqeeyay dumar sharaxan 

c) Waxaa ii sheegay dumar is sharaxay 

d) Ma garan karo 

7. Maxaad u malaynaysaa dhibaatooyinka ugu waawayn ee ay la kulmaan haweenka raba inay dalka ka noqdaan madax? U kala sii arimaha hoos ku qoran siday u kala sareeyaan adoo eegaya kuwa ugu muhiimsan (1 derejada ugu saraysa, 2 derejada labaad, sidaas u wad)

Lam.

Dhibaatada

Mudnaan

 

1.

Dhaqanka iyo shareecada oo loo adeegsado in la dulmiyo haweenka

 

2.

Awooda jidh ahaaneed oo ka yar tan raga ayaan u saamixin inay hawl xooga qabtaan haweenku

 

3.

Fikrado qaldan oo laga haysto inaanay haweenku ka bixi karayn inay madax sare ka noqdaan dalka

 

4.

Waxa aan jirin haween aqoontoodu sarayso oo qaban kara xilal sare

 

5.

Waxa aan jirin siyaasad dawladeed oo loogu talo galay in lagu horemariyo haweenka si loo siiyo tiro go’an oo aan cid kale kula tartamin

 

6.

 

Dumar badani waxay ka xishoodaan inay raga dhex galaan si ay u dhacsadaan xaqooda

 

8. Intee ayaad u malaynaysaa in arrimahan hoos ku qorani ay muhiim ugu yihiin sidii hore loogu marin lahaa doorka haweenka ee diimuquraadiyadada dalka? (heer sare =5: aad u fiican =4: Yara fiican =3: aan roonayn =2: aan fiicnayn = 1)

Soo jeedin

Mudnaan

Tiro geed ka go’an ah oo loogu talo galay musharaxiinta dumarka oo keliya

 

 

Kor u qaadista doorka ay haweenku ku leeyihiin mujtamaca si loo fahamsiiyo bulshada

 

 

Joojinta cunsuriyadaynta haweenka

 

 

Dhiirigelinta haweenku inay ka qayb galaan hawlaha diimuquraadiyada

 

 

Dhiirigelinta iyo hirgelinta siyaasad ku wajahan lamaanaha oo lagu taageero musharaxiinta haweenka ah

 

 

In laga ilaaliyo haweenka musharaxiinta ah wax kasta oo u keenaya dhibaato ama gacan ha ahaato am afka ha ahaato.

 

 

 

Kuwo kale, fadlan faahfaahi: ……………………………………………………………………………….

………………………………………………………………………………..

 

 

Saxiixa: …………………………………… Taariikh: ……………….…………………

 

Aaad baad ugu mahadsantahay wakhtigaaga iyo caawimadada aad naga siisay buuxinta macluumaadka cilmi baadhistan muhiimka ha.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Questions for Focus Group Discussion

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIST OF QUESTIONS FOR THE FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION


 

1. Do women in Somaliland encounter any challenges during elections?

2. In your view what are the main challenges faced by women in Somaliland during the time of the election?

3. In your opinion what stops women to become leaders in Somaliland?

4. How do you think women voters could be assisted to cast their votes in free and fair manners?

5. What is your view to bring about a quota system which guarantees a set of parliament seats for women?

6. In your opinion why do you think women failed to during the elections of the parliament and municipality?

7. Is there anything that you see differently and would like to share with the research team?


 

People who will be invited to participate in the FGD will consist of: traditional elders, religious leaders, academics, parliamentarians (1 from the constituency representatives and 1 from council of elders), security officers and, unsuccessful candidates (women) and National Electoral Commission.


 

The time for the discussion is two hours.


 


 

1 UNDP Somalia Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Strategy (2011-2015), UNDP

2 Report about NEC’s Training Activities Prior to the Presidential Elections, 2010

3 Quarterly Report: Strengthening Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Somalia, 2015.

 

Significant number of respondents (16%) mentioned the reason they didn't vote for women was because they thought that women would not win, such a misconception needs to change if women have to make inroads into the political arena. The number of respondents who, when asked, said yes women have citizen/democratic rights to vote is a great majority (82%). However, there are a significant minority who also said that women have no right to vote 18%, something that needs to be addressed.