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Ahead of upcoming elections, women’s rights activists and politicians want a 30% quota for female lawmakers, to be enshrined in law. In mid-January, Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble announced that a third of parliamentary seats should be reserved for female lawmakers. In July 2020, the lower house of parliament approved a bill that would allow for this, but it has yet to be passed by the upper house and signed into law by the president. Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Fawzia Yusuf Haji Adan, the first woman to have been deputy premier and foreign minister, and who is now the leader of the National Democratic Party, said: “one of the problems with the calls for a female quota, is that traditional elders choose who goes to parliament and they do not believe in women’s political participation”.

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