YWPG is a group led by the Speaker of Parliament as its Patron and was established in 2011.
The purpose of the group is to influence government policies through Parliament as the legislative and oversight arm of the state.
A statement reaching Solomon Star on Monday said that the induction program introduces YWPG new members to understanding parliamentary democracy and existing parliamentary tools/processes in which they can utilise to bring forward policy issues that is of importance to them.
“The group is not specifically for women only, but open to young men as well who are passionate about change and building their leadership capabilities.”
The Deputy Clerk to Parliament David Kusilifu during his welcome address stated that gender mainstreaming is part of Parliaments strategic plan 2018-2022 and assures the young women that Parliament will always support its initiatives.
Since the inception of the group they have worked with successive leaders on various different issues.
In 2013 they facilitated a petition to parliament asking the government to properly regulate the Short Bus Routes, a special select committee was set up, chaired by the MP for Central Honiara Hon. Moffat Fugui, and a report tabled in parliament in 2014.
Towards the end of 2014, under the leadership of former Chairlady Lysa Winni Simeon a survey was carried out during the National General Elections to find out voters behaviour towards women candidates.
The statement said that the survey found out that 90% of voters agree that women should be in parliament and are willing to vote for them.
But when the votes are counted only 20% actually voted for a female candidate.
YWPG would like to know what factors influence people’s decisions and see what policy or legislation needed in order to help women get elected.
Other activities included the “Say It Out Loud” Film festival which was first piloted in 2016 under the leadership of former late Chairlady Kyra Varnel and supported by Australian Aid. This film festival uses short films as the medium to engage young people in advocating against domestic violence.
This year YWPG will be looking at following up on the Parliamentary Health and Medical Services Committee report 2015 on the Quality of Medical Services at our National Referral Hospital. Another pressing issue that has recently been raised concerns over on social media.
The current Chairlady Ms. Vanessa Rodie is confident that the group will deliver its planned activities and looks forward to working in partnership with our national leaders and relevant stakeholders as the year rolls out.
Ms Rodie assured the group is young and vibrant, and will be looking into a more innovative approach to engaging young people actively through the legislative process in raising issues of national relevance.
Advisor to the group Ms. Marisa Pepa stated that she is excited to work with these amazing young women who all came from different fields of expertise, “That’s the beauty of YWPG , we’re from all different works of life but with a common goal to make our country a better place for everyone.
She also encourages young potential leaders out there to be part of the group.
“I have seen young women who have build so much leadership skills and even I am amazed at their confidence,” she said.
By LESLEY SANGA