Gender Quotas Database

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Somalia (Somalia)

Somalia (Somalia) has a Bicameral parliament with legislated quotas for the single/lower house. 67 of 275 (24%) seats in the Federal Parliament are held by women.

At a glance

Structure of Parliament: Bicameral

Are there legislated quotas...

  • For the Single/Lower House? Yes
  • For the Upper House?
  • For the Sub-National Level? No

Are there voluntary quotas...

  • Adopted by political parties? No

Is there additional information?...

  • Yes

Last updated: Apr 8, 2019

Single/Lower House

Federal Parliament

Total seats 275
Total Women 67
% Women 24%
Election Year 2017
Electoral System No direct elections
Quota Type Reserved seats
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline
  Legal source Details
Quota type: Reserved seats Constitution

Garowe Principles I (2011) and Garowe Principles II (2012) are the 2 documents which outline the key constitutional and governance principles for the future set-up of Somalia as a federal state. The documents provide for 30% reserved seats for women in the parliament sworn-in in August 2012.

Electoral law  
Legal sanctions for non-compliance N/A Not applicable
Rank order/placement rules N/A Not applicable
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? No data available
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? No data available

Additional Information

During the initial stage of Somalia’s transitional government, Article 29 of the 2004 Transitional Federal Charter provided a quota of 12 per cent reserved seats in the Transitional Federal Parliament. However, the Transitional Federal Parliament which functioned between 2004 and 2009 (and which was later extended by three years,until July 2012) did not include the corresponding number of female parliamentarians. The number of female parliamentarians initially stood at 7 per cent of the seats, a proportion which later dropped to 5 per cent.

During the next stage, the two documents entitled Garowe Principles I (2011) and Garowe Principles II (2012), which outline the key constitutional and governance principles for the future set-up of Somalia as a federal state, and which were signed by all main stakeholders in the country, committed to securing 30 per cent reserved seats for women as members of the National Constituent Assembly (2012) and the parliament (sworn in in August 2012).

In the aftermath, women formed 25 per cent of the total members of the National Constituent Assembly, which approved the new Federal Provisional Constitution of Somalia. However, the text of the Constitution itself did not include any legal provisions guaranteeing the 30 per cent reserved seats for women in the next parliament.

Eventually, the Federal Parliament of Somalia, in particular its lower house, inaugurated in August 2012, and composed of 275 representatives of the four largest clans in the country as well as some smaller ones,included only 14 per cent female parliamentarians. Candidates for parliamentary seats in the 2012 Federal Parliament of Somalia were nominated by the country’s major clans and vetted by the Technical Selection Committee in compliance with the criteria outlined in the Constitution.

The failure to meet the stated commitments on the 30 per cent reserved seats for women in the 2012 Federal Parliament is largely due to the lack of agreement among the clans which govern the country.

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