Following her recent landslide victory in the Gizo Kolombangara constituency, newly elected Member of Parliament (MP) Lanelle Tanangada is making sure her short term counts.
“I have so much to read and learn and so much to do, before parliament even sits,” Mrs Tanangada said.
“I’m focused on the immediate issues, including water security in my community and women’s welfare,” she added.
This week, the dynamic former teacher was offering her experience in campaigning and community organising with the50+ aspiring candidates at the Practice Parliament for Women.
“I was overwhelmed to see the confidence and experience of these women from diverse backgrounds.
“Here we have powerful women, strong women, women who have the heart for the people.
“I am so excited to meet and know that we have these potential women leaders,” Mrs Tanangada said.
The opportunity to speak with Mrs Tanangada continues to be a highlight for participants during breaks.
Mrs Tanangada has barely had the opportunity to sip a cup of tea, meeting with the National Women’s Forum Convenors during lunch on priority national women’s issues and hearing about the good works of the Young Women’s Christian Association, Women’s Rights Action Movement, Vois Blong Mere Solomon, The National Council of Women, Rokotanikeni and The Young Women’s Parliamentary Group.
Asked about her thoughts on the barriers to greater women’s leadership and participation in governance in Solomon Islands, the new MP considers it a while.
“I think one of the barriers we always hear about is culture, we have the deepest respect for men culturally but I wouldn’t like to see it as a barrier.
“In each of our homes, in family units are both mothers and fathers.
“They work together to build up their home and bring up their family and I would like to see that concept in a bigger picture.
“It is already our culture that both men and women can work together and support each other.
“It’s not about women replacing men; it’s about working in collaboration and supporting each other.
“Parliament being the voice of the entire population, it should be representative of the population which are both men and women,” Mrs Tanangada said.
The second day of the practice parliament featured accomplished men from the parliament and courts helping participants better understand principles of good governance and parliamentary leader ship as well as the doctrine of the separation of powers and the process of parliamentary committees.
If you would like to see Lanelle and the participants in action, the practice parliament will conclude with a public debate on The Environment Act 1988–‘Resources and Inclusive Development,’ starting 8am today at the National Parliament.