Amal Abdirahman campaigning to become president in Somalia 2020
A civil rights activist is aiming to become the first female president in Somalia in what is expected to be an historic election.
Amal Abdirahman, who has lived in Enfield for four years, will be running to become the first female president in Somalia in a plea to ensure equality and improve standards in the country after a Civil War.
Brought up in Mogadishu in Somalia, the aspiring candidate for the Somali Women Democratic Party (SWDP) saw the war break out as a 15-year-old schoolgirl.
She said: “At a young age, I remember people being killed in front of me and witnessing deaths of loved ones, feeling helpless and not being able to help them as I’ve never had any experience in stopping blood or anything.
“Hearing Bombs first thing in the morning from sunrise to sunset not knowing if i was going to live to see another day is something i wouldn’t wish anyone.
“In the last three years Somalia is getting worse by the day and the corruption is getting higher.
“The social inequality and the abuse against women are increasing to a higher level by the day.
“The Government genocide innocent Somali civilians people including children and women. More than 26,000 innocent people women and children have died within the past year in Somalia.”
As a result of the war, when was 17 she fled Somalia as a refugee with her family and moved to Finland.
Later she moved to Enfield after previously campaigning to be president in the 2012 elections, which she was rejected for because of the requirement to be aged 40 or over.
But now, she aims to travel back to her home country by April in hopes to improve it.
After seeing the country “struggle”, she hopes to lay a foundation of societal improvements by tackling the divide particularly in class and gender.
She said: “We can start this by education the young people and encouraging them to put the gun or knife down and pick up a pen instead in order to achieve higher education.
“We can also aim to empower Somali women to start up small businesses and we can help them achieve this by giving them a micro loan to start up their dream businesses.
“I believe that men and women both have equal rights, and we should break the chain on male presidents.”
She also hopes to nationalise the public health sector of Somalia by introducing a free hospital service and providing free medicine and overnight care.
Even before campaigning in 2012, Ms Abdirahman has had an extensive history as a civil rights activist, and she adds her family from as far back as three generations had a political history.
For the first time since 1969, Somalia will be introducing a popular election voting model with a one person, one vote system and ensuring fair and equal representation.