Sunday, 23 August 2020
By Shukri Said
coronavirus pandemic that has swept across the world since the beginning of
2020 has put all states to the test. Some reacted with positive results,
limiting deaths and the rate of infections, others less so. Among
the countries that have best tackled the pandemic, Iceland, Finland, Norway,
Denmark, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Germany stood out. These seven countries have
one thing in common: they are all ruled by women. In Iceland, Mrs. Katrín
Jakobsdóttir governs; in Finland Ms. Sanna Marin; in Norway, Ms. Erna Solberg;
in Denmark Ms. Mette Frederiksen; Taiwan is
chaired by Ms. Tsai Ing-wen; New
Zealand by Mrs. Jacinda Ardern and Germany by stainless Angela Merkel.
the pandemic crisis does not seem like a simple coincidence considering that
women leaders in the world are just 7% of the total. Yet, female leaders have demonstrated a degree of
competence under challenging and unprecedented condition, and got the job done.
To fully grasp why women leaders have managed to combat the spread of the
disease, researchers have found that women leaders
have reacted proactively than their male counterparts. As the researcher’s
findings further argue the COVID mortality rate were lower in countries led by
women and, to some degree, this may be explained by the effective and
coordinated policy responses implemented by women leaders. Despite
women leaders rising to the challenge, as Antonio Polito recalled in an
article published in the Corriere Della Sera on 15th April 2020, it is not
enough to have a female leader in charge to do better job - for example,
Belgium which is governed by Ms. Sophie Wilmes, has been one of the countries
hardest hit by the pandemic. It is also fair to state that it is too early to
know the true economic and human damage of the virus, until there is reliable data.
Having said this, Donald Trump's United States, Vladimir Putin's
Russia, Xi Jinping's China, Bolzonaro's Brazil, Narendra Modi's India,
Erdogan's Turkey are certainly among the countries most affected by COVID-19.
It is not very clear why women in
government have excelled well in the pandemic battle than the "alpha"
males of world politics. Undoubtedly, it is arguable that the health structures
already in place in these countries have contributed to their response to curb
the scourge of the virus, but the speed of early lock down and the their test
and trace approach to the pandemic is certainly attributable to their effective
strategy in fighting the disease. It can, therefore, be concluded that when the
situation becomes "really complex", it is statistically better to
rely on women.
has also been in a "truly complex" situation for decades and it is
therefore not clear why we are yet to see a female Somali Prime Minister to
help rid the country out of its security, health and economic woes, as this
position remains vacant since the ouster of former Prime Minister Hassan Ali
Khayre on 25 July 2020.
Since Somalia had overcome the transition
phase, it has remained for years in a limbo between security and civil war,
destruction and reconstruction, 4.5 elections and the culmination for universal
suffrage, quest for development, public service delivery, and political
stability. Recurrent droughts had also inflicted damages on livestock and
livelihoods of Somali pastoralist communities. In short, the country has been
plighted by constant struggle between war and peace.
proved impossible that an army trained for years by some of the best experts in
the world (and Italy knows something about it) and supported by American drones
to dislodge the sizable army of Al-Shabaab whose stronghold is well-known and
perfectly demarcated areas of the country?
never possible for a road to be asphalted in Mogadishu without providing for a
sewer suitable for the discharge of rainwater so that, in the rainy season, it
becomes a torrent that carries with it the few resources that the people manage
to scrape together with many sacrifices?
ever possible that the Halane complex, which houses the structures of the
United Nations, the EU, and the African Union in Mogadishu, as well as the
embassies of countries including the US and the UK, be reduced to an open
landfill with no waste collection facilities?
are not new problems, suddenly popping up like the coronavirus. Yet, men have
not thus far managed to deal with these very serious problems, even though they
have been selected up to the highest offices in the country and often through
dubious and tainted processes. Therefore, it can be argued that despite male
domination in Somali politics, they have not been able to deliver for their mandated
duties, and therefore, the long practiced political culture of overlooking
capable Somali women for top government roles is indeed a gender problem/stereotype
that we as a society need to come over.
is no shortage of female talent suitable for the office of PM in Somalia. Among
the many particularly competent figures, the name of Asha Hagi Elmi stands out
who championed women voice and continue to play a vital role in bringing about
a genuine, all-inclusive and serious
reconciliation among Somalis.
of note is Yussur Abrar. During her
career, she was Vice President at CitiGroup, as well as Vice President of
Credit Risk Management at the American International Group in New York City.
Abrar is also the founder and president of Warsun International Communications
Corp. From September to November 2013, with brief stint, she was
governor of the Central Bank of Somalia.
Also worth mentioning is Halima Ibrahim Isamail, known
as “Halima Yarey”, Chairlady of the Electoral Commission of the Federal
Republic of Somalia. The plethora of capabale Somali women talent include, current
Minister of Health, Fawziya Abikar.
These four committed bright Somali women are just
examples of the limitless pool of female talent at our country’s disposal, who
I am sure if given chance would excel in their job as a premier.
So let’s try this time with a female premier!