“I lived in London taking care of the kids and at the same time raising funds for the Somali National Movement (SNM) under the chairmanship of my husband who is now the president of Somaliland; while doing this, I was also attending a university. The struggle was not really easy but I have managed it because I believe it was part of the struggle”, said the first Lady.
Many Somaliland women have contributed a lot in different capacities to the struggle and they now need to rip the fruits of their struggle. I am blessed to be the first Lady and now am committed to make everything possible to advance Somaliland women’s aspirations into a reality”, Madam Amina said.
The first lady asserted that she sees a hope for Somaliland women, who travelled through rough roads, to enjoy the peace and stability that they made possible in Somaliland today. “The women of Somaliland took major steps to secure the country back from the brink of collapsing and chaos while trying to withdraw from the union with Somalia.
We are trying to give quota for women in both houses of parliament; so far we have three women cabinet Ministers occupying key ministerial posts. I have good faith in the House of Representatives that they will pass a bill that gives an acceptable quota for women to be represented in both houses.
I am committed to play a historic role in bringing women the political ladder so that their voices could be heard at parliament. We also have a framework where women could have critical role in the society and business sector areas.
Mrs. Amina highlighted some of her challenges in the position as a first lady. She disclosed that every woman who worked hard with me while in campaigning wishes to have her kids enroll in schools, university or employed. Though it’s hard to do all those at once we hare fulfilling our responsibilities by responding to meet the basic needs of the society. It is because of meeting this objective that we are trying to seek partners to exploit our recourses so that we can create jobs and strengthen the educational system, she said.
“The president is working hard day and night to create employment opportunities and raise the level of standard of the population. So far we have managed to double the salary of the security forces, military, and civil servants. We are not complacent and will continue to exert maximum efforts to achieve the government’s objectives”, she added.
She said that they managed to change the Somali shillings in Togdher region, which continued to use the old Somali currency that existed since Siad Barre’s time, into Somaliland shillings. It has cost around 3 million US dollars. “There are also other projects that are in the pipeline for implementation”, the First Lady emphasized.
The First Lady is very articulate and is educated in the UK with vast background and experience in political and social sphere. Her full interview will appear in our next week’s issue.
By Moha Dahir Farah Jire and J. Aboulfaki (SSI).