What we did: We assisted Somalia’s electoral management body (EMB), the National Independent Electoral Commission, to develop a gender strategy.

What we achieved: Clear, realistic and time-bound gender equality objectives were laid out in the areas of leadership, strategic guidance and accountability. 

Who we did it with: The National Independent Electoral Commission of the Federal Republic of Somalia, and Folke Bernadotte Academy, the Swedish Agency for Peace, Security and Development

Impact area: Political Participation and Representation

Project name: Gender Equality Strategy for the National Independent Electoral Commission of the Federal Republic of Somalia

Donor: Folke Bernadotte Academy

Award period: 2020 to 2021

Boundary partners: EMBs

 

At the behest of the Folke Bernadotte Academy, the Swedish agency for peace, security and development, International IDEA conducted a gender assessment and developed a gender equality strategy for the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) of the Federal Republic of Somalia. 

We conducted an initial assessment of commitments, mechanisms, processes, resources and capacities for gender mainstreaming within the NIEC, using a three-pronged approach:

  • reviewing existing policies and mechanisms for gender mainstreaming within the electoral management body; 
  • reviewing the architecture, resources and capacities available for the implementation of gender equality commitments, including the personnel and other resources available; and 
  • reviewing whether programmes and or mandates had been planned, implemented and evaluated with a gender perspective. 

The assessment highlighted gaps and opportunities for promoting gender equality internally and externally, laying the ground for changing practices. Clear, realistic and time-bound gender equality objectives were laid out in the areas of leadership, strategic guidance and accountability.

The overall aim of the strategy was to promote gender equality and women’s participation through targeted actions and gender mainstreaming of the NIEC’s operations. 

While the NIEC is stepping up to the challenge in its national mandate, it is acknowledged that the eradication of all forms of discrimination and achieving gender equality must be a national priority agenda. The NIEC, meanwhile, is the first national entity in Somalia to have a gender equality strategy.

 

‘This Strategy is a key milestone in the institutionalization of the NIEC’s efforts to promote gender equality and inclusive participation and representation in all electoral processes in Somalia.’

—Halima Ismail, Chairperson, National Independent Electoral Commission