Somalia—Fawzia Yusuf H. Adam, a Somalian, who became the country’s first female foreign minister is now running for the Presidency.
The widow and mother of three in an interview in July said she believes her campaign for the presidency is worthwhile and could break down barriers for other women in a nation where the female gender has been historically marginalized.
For Fawzia Adam, 69, her decision to run for president, she argued, was not to stand out of the crowd but because the pace of development had been sorely slow and she wants to impact change.
“My sole aim is to breathe a new lease of life into Somalia. Our political ideology and beliefs are at the heart and soul of our political trajectory in deciding the best way forward for my nation,” she said.
Fawzia argued that her gender could be an asset in helping Somalia to emerge from years of deadly violence, marked by attacks from al-Qaeda.
“I thought as a woman, this country needs female leadership to bring peace and stability,” she said.
“There was mayhem in this country for the past 30 years, young people are dying like flies, killing each other, exploding themselves, killing other people,” she added.
Adam’s path in life has been far different. Married to a general, she first entered politics in her hometown of Hargeisa, Somaliland years ago but fled to Mogadishu, saying local politicians saw her as a threat.
“I have not seen anyone offering me a helping hand. I struggle alone,” Fawzia said.
She later started a political party, the National Democratic Party, and rose to some of the country’s highest offices, including foreign minister and deputy prime minister.
Now, as Somalia moves towards a long-delayed presidential election, which has now been scheduled for October she looks forward to becoming Somalia’s next commander in chief.