MORE than 500 women from Ijara district in Garissa county yesterday protested alleged misuse by men during elections. Interestingly, the protesters were not activists but housewives who said the burden of inefficient leadership imposed on them by men in the region is unbearable. Donning traditional Somali women in-house attires and singing dirges symbolising the end of male dominance in political decision-making in the area, they sat under acacia trees at Masalani Primary School for six hours before making their statement of intent.
Speaker after speaker enumerated how men dominated the politics of North Eastern province to their disadvantage, while it is was evident they rarely voted during elections. "Women have now realised how Somali men used retrogressive and outdated cultural practices to deny them their civic rights in electing leaders of their choice and instead forced them to support leaders endorsed by their husbands or male relatives," said nominated councillor Bustay Dahir.
Read the complete story at All Africa, published 12 July 2012.