Could Somali women rescue their nation, and if so how?
By Ali Yare
Without hesitation, the answer is yes, they can rescue it, but if they only stand up for it with unity, commitment and determination, but before I further explain how I think they could rescue the nation, let me share with you a brief history about what went wrong in Somalia. It is a well-known fact and agreed among all Somalis that whatever bad happened in Somalia during the civil war, it happened in the hands of the Somali politicians. The warlords and other politicians toppled the former Somali government led by Said Barre without any plan in place when authority falls down. The leaders of the rebels that was fighting with Said Barre regime had only one goal which was to remove Said Barre from the power but it seemed that they had never talked about what they would have done after Mr. Barre left the office. They were obsessed with hatred and wrath in their heart toward the former president and that is why the situation became chaotic due to the collapse of the government. Besides, their lack of plan, every warlord had his own agent. By the way, all warlords were men unfortunately.
For the last 25 years, Somalia has been a failed state with no law and order. From early 1990 to 2006, which I call the warlord era, Somalia experienced the worst civil war in the history of that country. During that era the Somali people witnessed unprecedented Massacre, indiscriminate killing, clan cleansing, famine, and large scale of properties destruction. And according to the United Nations, that civil war forced the largest refugees in the world.
It has been proved by the international communities as well as Somali people that Somali men’s leadership has brought to the Somali people nothing but more bloodshed and destruction. From warlords to Islamic courts, from president to parliaments, they have all failed the test miserably. Now most people have lost faith in male population because those who had opportunity to rule did not live up to the people’s expectations. In the eyes of the majority of the Somali people, the prospect for finding a good, honest, impartial and strong leader seems very slim. The people need a visionary leader who has good quality and talent to save the nation from extinction or from being taken over by the neighboring countries as we are witnessing now. Many trials to find a strong leader who could unite the people and rebuild the nation became fruitless. The Somali people are in a state of hopelessness. They are fed up with shameless, faceless lairs. They are fed up with the same incompetent individuals who don’t even know how to say we cannot do it. They are fed up with politicians who are remotely controlled by the Ethiopian regime in Addis Ababa.
Today, in my opinion, Somali male politicians should not have place in Somali politics. Particularly, they should be put aside from the leadership positions and the baton for the top spot be transferred to the Somali women because I honestly believe Somali women can do better job.
The reason why I am saying this is that the Somali male politicians have had their chance for twenty some years in leadership roles, unfortunately they never took advantage of that gold opportunity to fix the problem or change the way they do business. Nevertheless, the Somali women politicians have never been appointed as a head of state to lead the nation not because they have been incapable of ruling the country but they were pushed away from the political process by male chauvinism. unlike the male populations, Somali women have never been tested for higher positions in Somali Authority, and I believe they have a right to be tested now. It is not arguable that Somali male politicians failed the Somali people and they proved themselves to be incompetent when it comes to forming viable and functioning government. The followings reasons are the ones that I wholeheartedly believe that the Somali women can be trusted with nation’s leadership than the male politicians for the time being:
- Somali male politicians are all corrupt and the only thing they care for is their interest. Their personal interest is more important than the well-being of their population. As long as they get what they want they careless of who is dying or who is not. However, Somali women are known for being trustworthy, kinder and likable by everybody.
- The majority of the current politicians were the participants of the civil war in 1991. They are the ones who were encouraging massacre and disunity of the Somali society. They were and are polarizing elements that created animosity among Somali people. Most of them have blood on their hands, and there is no way that yesterday’s warlord could be seen today’s peacemaker because nobody can buy it. It is hard for the victims to reconcile with the same individuals that terrorized them, and murdered their loved ones. But Somali women didn’t take part of the Somali civil war. Basically, Somali women don’t often take part of an armed conflict in any circumstance except external threats. They are always neutral to inter-clan fighting among Somali people though they are the most affected section of the society. Moreover, they don’t have a criminal record and in this regard, they have good credit to run the nation unlike the Somali men who don’t have a record to run but a record to run from.
- The majority of the current Somali male politicians have not earned their political power through popular vote, education or out of the love of the people but through intimidation with gunpoint. They are all the product of the 4.5 the most, in my opinion, injustice and laughable political system in the world, but the Somali women belong to no party and they are not threat to anybody. They are peace loving people with no animosity to anyone.
- Regardless of their political background or philosophy, all top office male occupiers or important figures were, have been and are puppets to Ethiopian regime. They are controlled by Addis Ababa regime. They don’t answer to Somali people but Addis regime. They sold the country out to their number one enemy, Ethiopia. Unlike the Somali male politicians, The Somali women, as long as we remember, never became puppets to anybody. They have more confidence in themselves than today’s Somali male leaders. Had they been in the top office, no way the Somali women would make Addis Ababa like a Mecca because of their none stop visitation.
- Tribalism and nepotism are not uncommon in the majority of Somali male politicians’ administrations. All the presidents including the current one filled all higher positions with their closest relatives. They have all surrounded themselves by either their tribe members or family members. Culturally, whenever conflict occurs between two rival tribes or clans, Somali women play the most important role in achieving lasting peace. The two fighting factions exchange number of girls for marriage so that they can create healthy bond between them forgetting and forgiving to one another.
The Somali women and children were the most affected by the civil war, but they never lost of hope. Their resilient and steadfastness, proves that they have quality to rescue the nation. Unlike the male politicians they have no wrath in their heart, no hostility to any part of the society.
Many of you may have heard the proverb which says “Behind every successful man is a strong woman”. Even though it could be true it doesn’t mean that behind every loser or criminal man there could not be strong women. Particularly, I am sure that behind every corrupt, tribalism, perpetrator and traitor Somali politician there is honest, trustworthy and decent woman. I am sure many of you as Somali women don’t like or agree with whatever your husbands, sons, brothers and fathers do. You didn’t agree them with their involvement in the Somali civil war or lack of integrity. If you do so, then why don’t you speak out? I guess the time of spectating and doing nothing is over and the time of action should start now. Your silences imply that you have agreed whatever is happening around you.
You are vital for decision making for the family so for the nation too. You have strong influence over your family members such as your husbands, sons and brothers. If every one of you tries to do something about your family member’s mistakes and convince them to correct their mistakes the whole nation will be corrected by your action. Therefore, the only thing I think you need to do now is to use your influence. If you are from one of the politician families, please don’t let your family be fed with haram stuff or money earned in a haram way. Don’t let your children’s role model be a weak, thief, corrupt, traitor and shortsighted politician. No matter where you live in Somalia or which clan you come from, if you love your country, rise up and join your hands for the intention of rebuilding your ruined country. We have seen what the Somali politicians are capable of. Use your power, speak with one voice and make the current greedy, filthy politician sit at the back sit.