Somalia’s first ever Woman Deputy Mayor in Mogadishu talks to UN JPLG and Highlights the Importance

Somalia’s first ever Woman Deputy Mayor in Mogadishu talks to UN JPLG and Highlights the Importance

UN JPLG had the pleasure of catching up with Somalia’s first ever woman Deputy Mayor, the dynamic Maluka Dheere Sheikh Abdulkadir, whose responsibilities cover Management of Administration and Finance for the Municipality of Mogadishu. 

Mogadishu has made real progress to promote women to positions of authority in local government; there are 5 Women District Commissioners in Mogadishu out of a total of 17.

Somalia's first ever woman Deputy Mayor: Maluka Dheere Sheikh Abdulkadir speaking at a conference

In her first 100 days of office, Maluka highlights with enthusiasm how much has been achieved: “We have done a lot, particularly, in the area of finance and administration in the first 100 days of my office. For the first time since 1991 we have developed a comprehensive budget for six months which has been published and was adopted as of July 1, 2017. To promote transparency and accountability, we have developed a new financial information management system as part of our Public Financial Management reform. This was an initiative that was a top priority for our administration and we did it on our own without external support.”
 
Maluka is an excellent role model to inspire other women to participate in local government. She says: “We need to create opportunities for women to participate in local government and in every level of government, we are trying to do that right now, we need to motivate, inspire and empower women for leadership roles, but this will also require strong political capital and commitment at the highest level to ensure maximum participation.  A lot of women have the qualities but they need to be lifted up and mentored. My colleagues (who are women) and I are reaching out to women and our experience is that the public are welcoming the idea of woman getting involved in executive positions in Mogadishu.” 
 
Maluka has extensive experience in finance and management, which included working in the Prime Minister’s Office for six years. During that time she interacted and had a working relationship with Thabit Abdi Mohamed, the Mayor and Governor of Benadir Regional Administration (BRA). In April 2017 he was appointed as the Governor of BRA and the Mayor of Mogadishu. He subsequently approached Maluka and based on her skills experience offered her the Deputy Mayor position. Maluka says: “I believe that having worked with the Mayor previously, my skills, experience and academic baggage catalysed my nomination. Besides the Mayor is committed to promoting and empowering women who work hard and who want to create positive change in this country. Above all, this was also a call for duty and I am humbled and privileged to serve my country and be part of the current vibrant BRA administration who are committed to bring a lasting positive legacy.”
 
Maluka goes on to say: “My experience in Mogadishu has been that when people see a woman in a position of authority – they are happy about it; I think people see that women in senior positions are committed and serious about their responsibilities.”
Maluka’s message to the women living in Mogadishu: “To create positive change in Mogadishu, you don’t need a big title, you just need to contribute, get involved and participate in local affairs.”
 
UN JPLG is working to increase the participation of women in local government and is most encouraged by the significant changes happening today in Mogadishu.  The programme’s gender audit and fresh training of field teams will empower UN JPLG and partners to bring this to life in the future.