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The fall of the Siad Barre regime in 1991 led to the ongoing civil war in Somalia, which has been fuelled by inter-ethnic clashes, conflicts between radical Islamists, famine, and religion and has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. Somalia’s endless war has made it one of the top-ranking sources of refugees in the world today with over a million IDP’s and over a million refugees who have fled to other countries like Kenya, Yemen, and Ethiopia.

Fadumo Dayib, a 44-year-old Somalian activist wants to spark social change and help rebuild a post-conflict Somalia through informed political leadership. In 2014, she declared her intention to run for president of the conflict-laden country. Dayib who was once a refugee fled Somalia and gained asylum in Finland in the early 90’s. There, she pursued a successful academic career. She studied as a critical care nurse, worked for the United Nations, and gained a doctorate. The devoted mother of four also won a fellowship to Harvard, where she studied Public administration.

“My gender is not an issue. It’s a gender that has actually brought the little peace we have in Somalia.”- Fadumo Dayib (CNN)

In a personal blog post, she described her journey back to Somalia and her quest to become president as a matter of instigating social change decades and centuries down the line. She stated, “Although my body resides in Finland since 1990, my heart beats in Africa, specifically in Somalia.” Dayib believes that her experience as a refugee gives her a special wisdom, one that she hopes to use to in leading her country towards peace and stability.

Somalia’s 2016 election will be the country’s first democratically-held election since 1967 as free elections and a democratic system of governance ended with the assassination of President Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke. There are 18 candidates for the presidency, but Dayib is the only woman. Although she knows that she has a very slim chance at winning, this phenomenal woman is basking in the impact and awareness that her campaign has raised.

“A lot of Somalis are in shock because I appeared out of nowhere but managed to challenge all those in power … and [now] everyone inside the country knows who I am,” she told The Guardian.

Dayib hopes to eradicate the 4.5 clan system in Somalia, one that she says subjugates women, and silences and oppresses 99 percent of the Somalis. “… This the system I want to change,” she said in an interview with CNN’s Amanpour. Dayib also wants to tackle corruption, return Somalia’s territorial integrity, and liberate Somali women from systemic oppression.

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