Somalia ex-minister’s presidential quest tests rigid patriarchy

  • Written by Abdulkadir Khalif
  • Published on 16th July 2021
    Somalia’s former Foreign Affairs minister Fawzia Yusuf Haji Adam who has announced her candidacy for president. PHOTO | COURTESY
  • When Somalia’s former Foreign Affairs minister Fawzia Yusuf Haji Adam announced her candidacy for president in the next elections, the reaction in Mogadishu was mostly muted.
  • Yet Ms Adam, from a prominent family of scholars, is not just testing the waters. She may well be testing the rigidity of an age-old culture.
  • If the federal electoral commission accepts her candidacy, she will be only the second woman in Somalia’s history to contest the presidency.
  • A member of parliament in the expiring legislature, Ms Adam stormed to stardom in 2012 after Hassan Sheikh Mohamud appointed her minister for foreign affairs and international cooperation and named her deputy prime minister.
  • She remains the only Somali woman to have held that position.
  • Her campaign team says she is running on the National Democratic Party ticket and will chair the Hiigsi coalition. She wants to run on issues that cement “nationhood” including “durable peace, justice and development”.


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