There can be no real democracy if half the population is excluded from participation in power says, the Deputy Resident Representative of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Akiko Suzaki said, fair representation and participation of women in governance is one of the pre-conditions for achieving genuine democracy.
Women’s limited participation in decision making signifies the pervasive nature of conscious and unconscious bias against women, she said.
She said, over the last 30 years there has been a slow progress in women’s participation and leadership in political processes.
“When there is a decisive mass of women decision makers, the issue which previously went unaddressed can become priorities where she stated that when women are “out of sight, out of mind” which means that meeting their needs does not get prioritized.
“Increase in number of women MPs appears to lead to subsequent improvement in economic performance,” she added.
She said research showed that countries with more women members of parliament tend to experience less corruption compared to countries with more male members in parliament.
She said, countries with more women MPs also devoted on average more government spending on health and education.
In the case of Solomon Islands although the country adopted democracy which prioritize equal gender participation in politics, only 2% out of the total 48% of female in the country is represented in parliament.
Akiko Suzaki is one of the speakers who present at the opening of the Women’s Leadership and Political Participation Regional Conference on Tuesday.
By Biriau Wilson Saeni