“Northern Somalia’s Parliament in Shock and High Emotion as Historic Moment of Female Representation Garners Rousing Standing Ovation”
On Sunday May 14, 2023, the Parliament building in Hargeisa (AX) witnessed an awe-inspiring moment filled with overwhelming emotions. Newly appointed Amina Elmi Farid, the first female lawmaker, was welcomed with a standing ovation and thunderous applause by the parliamentarians. Interestingly, two years ago, the parliament elected only male members, triggering criticism from women’s rights organizations.
Farid, who previously held the prestigious position of Minister of Investment, had lost the May 31, 2021 election. However, an opportunity knocked her door, and she was appointed to fill the void created by the late Nor Osman Guled, representing her UCID party. With the second-highest number of votes in the region, Farid relinquished her ministerial role to take up the mantle of an MP.
In a statement to BBC Somali, Farid quoted, “I aim to confront the hurdles that kept me from being a part of this council earlier, ensuring that those who come after me, especially young people and women, don’t face the same challenges.” Her inclusion in the parliament may inject fresh ideas and a unique perspective while underscoring her commitment to represent the women of Northern Somalia and amplify their unheard voices. Farid’s homecoming after working in New Zealand, England, and the UAE adds an exciting twist to her journey as the first woman parliamentarian, leaving individuals in high anticipation of her next moves. However, despite her historic achievement, it doesn’t promise gender parity in the parliament.