Women in Parliament - Solomon Star News

Women in Parliament

17 February 2014
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It would be very good if qualified women could enter politics, both on national and provincial level.

There are many well qualified women working in the civil service, as administrators, teachers, etc. who would be qualified to run.
Culturally it is an uphill struggle but still women should try. Some women politicians are brilliant, smarter than men, and have very good ideas and show good leadership.

Others show poor leadership. But by electing only men, the Solomons denies the human resources and experiences of half the population.
US, Canada, Australia, are strengthened by using the human resources of their women.

Women are often better at forging consensus and are less confronting. This allows governance to proceed better.
It would be good if some women could be elected in the next parliamentary election.

Future governments must redirect its focus of development to rural areas. Reminder in light of the influx of young people into Honiara in search for jobs.

If we look at our current status, everything is almost centralised in Honiara, this is why you see more and more people leave the villages to Honiara every year.

Those who tried to live and make a living in the village found it really difficult because there’s very little economic activities down there.
As a result, they shifted and left to Honiara in search for jobs, education, and economic opportunities.

Aspiring female MPs believed that addressing of unemployment, illiteracy, poor facilities at school, impoverished clinics, and stimulate economic opportunities.

It is high time the government must redirect its focus on service delivery to the provinces to ensure the much talk about national issues are addressed.
There are relevant government authorities to address the issues but the will-power and drive must come from leaders.

As a matter of fact some politicians are doing well to push for projects that alleviate unemployment at their provinces.
This is what all our political leaders should be doing.

Current and future governments must look into is empowering of young people so that they could become responsible and better citizens.
Government’s neglect of young people has left them to become liabilities than assets the nation could rely on.

An issue of urban migration is a ticking time bomb that the government must act decisively to address it before it explodes onto its face.
Despite making almost half of our nation’s population, only two women have graced the seats in Parliament since independence in 1978 three and half decades ago.

Today there is only one woman in the National Parliament reflecting a serious exclusion of women’s voice at the highest decision making body in this country.

This does not get better with equal representation between women and men in governance at the provincial level although a few more women won.

Males have also dominated at the community level, and in informal and traditional sectors because of custom and cultural practices which relegate women to the domestic sphere.

This is the notion that is ingrained in the voter’s mindset when women aspire for political leadership.
The glaring reality for women in Solomon Islands is that leadership is still widely perceived as a man’s domain.

The weaker position of women in relation to men has direct bearing on women’s progress to positions of leadership and also reflects their inability to make informed choices.

Implications of these situations can be seen in poor outcomes for women, limited access of women to economic and political participation and high prevalence of violence against women and girls.

Today, it is visible that women are serving in various sectors in both non-government organisations and the government sector.

Such involvement of women in various sectors of leadership is a clear manifestation of women’s abilities to address issues affecting them.
In Solomon Islands and some parts of the world that women in leadership levels have caused an impact.

Women were ambitious to address various issues towards building sustainable communities.

The fundamental issues were gendered dimensions of building socially economically and environmentally sustainable communities.

On the one hand women and men provide different contributions to community building activities; on the other there are gendered outcomes as communities’ transition to sustainable practices and lifestyles.

Economic development is remaining top priority for women in the Asia Pacific Region.

Creatively re-thinking economic theory and development concepts in the light of feminist theory and women’s interests is not only politically strategic but vital to the improvement of women’s economic well being.

Women’s economic well-being and livelihoods is a concern particularly, the focus on women’s entrepreneurship, business skills, community economies and that draw connections between economic development, human rights and aid policies.

In 2012, the International Women’s Conference held in Cairns Australia underpins safety for women and girls as important issue for global human rights activists.

The lives of women and girls are made unsafe because of direct and indirect violence from their state, their communities and their families.

During the conference it explores and critically analyse the issues and practices that expose women and girls to violence of any form as well as highlight and celebrate the creative polices, processes and programmes that address such violence and enhance the safety of women and girls.

It was highlighted that issues such as trafficking, prostitution, pornography, HIV/AIDS and domestic and family violence implies strategic women thinkers to address.

Analysis of the gendered nature of violence and the gendered outcomes of generic violence that contribute to unsafe environments and lives for women and girls.

Achievement of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals will require that women have an equal role in the decisions that affect their lives.

Building women’s leadership skills in civil society, government, politics and parliament will lead to improved governance across all sectors of society and contribute to betterment of the lives of women.

It is believed that best practice and research in women’s leadership and its impact on improving governance across all sectors is extremely important.

It is imperative, I believed in order to address the issues raised, and it implies effective sound strategies to increase the number of elected women representatives at all levels of government.
 
By ELLIOT DAWEA

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