Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says a changed mindset by the entire society is integral to the process of ensuring equality in political representation in Solomon Islands.
The Prime Minister made this remark on Tuesday when he opened the ‘Conference on Women’s Leadership and Political Participation’ in Honiara.
He said as Prime Minister, he was profoundly pleased to open the conference which marks an important first step in national discussions to explore the means, opportunities and challenges to Solomon Islands women actively participating in politics.
Prime Minister Sogavare said it is the Democratic Coalition for Change Government’s commitment as captured in its policy statement on fundamental reforms to redefine the norms and values of Solomon Islands society to be more inclusive and accommodative of sustainable unity.
“Today, this commitment is being realised in this conference and eventual amendment of the Political Parties Integrity Act and the National Parliament (Electoral Provisions) Act which we expect to see in the coming year,” he added.
The Prime Minister said the government with the assistance of its development partners including the United Nations Development Programme and European Union is pleased to convene the symposium to facilitate in-depth dialogue on how to increase women’s participation and representation in leadership and politics.
He urged the workshop participants to think creatively about solutions to the challenges and barriers faced by Solomon Islands.
Prime Minister Sogavare said the recommendations of this conference will guide the direction that the government will consider in its overall review of the Political Parties Integrity Act and the elections system, particularly as it concerns women in political participation.
“As a government, we look forward to receiving your report and recommendations, the quality of which will be a reflection of your hard work.
“Let me add however that equality in political representation will not come from these reforms alone. We must change our mindsets, our attitudes and our perspectives right from the grassroots level to the highest levels of our government.”
– PMO Press Secretariat