Jun 03, 2011

Somaliland’s First Woman Mayor Takes Office in Gabiley City

First Woman Mayor with background in community initiatives for development challenges norms.

Below is an article published by Somaliland Press:

Somaliland’s district of Gabiley appointed its first woman mayor in the history of the self-declared republic that has been struggling to get recognition from the international community over the past few years.

Elders and officials of Gabiley District Committee nominated Ms. Kadra Haaji in an acting capacity following a vote of no confidence against former immediate mayor Aden Muhumed, who is allegedly embroiled in corruption allegations. 

The extra ordinary sitting of the local committee attended by Somaliland’s Attorney General Hassan Ahmed, Director of the ministry of internal affairs Abdullahi Hussein and Deputy Provisional Commissioner of Gabiley province, endorsed Ms. Haaji to take over as the new major.

The 18-member committee elected Ms. Haaji who has previously served as a deputy in the North West city which is located 54 km from Hargeisa the capital of Somaliland.

Ms. Haaji replaces former Mayor Muhumed who according to the office of attorney general of the breakaway republic misappropriated more than 250million Somaliland shillings during his tenureb as Gabiley boss. 

Little is known about Ms. Haaji but sources indicated that she had previously made some unbounded attempts to take part in community initiatives to foster development in a country where many loaded the dice in life.

Her position as a full mayor will be confirmed when or if the former mayor’s case is settled by a court of law which is investigating the case against him.

The appointment of a woman to the top civic role in the largely male-dominated Somali politics, defies the trend in the conservative population where leadership remained a no-go zone for women like Ms. Haaji.

Her appointment has certainly shaken the norms in Somalia and in the entire parched and bare Horn of Africa region, where women lag far behind men in almost every sphere of life. In Somalia women’s progress in the public arena has been slow.