Dear Editor – There were some familiar clichés used in speeches made at last week’s regional conference on Women’s Leadership and Political Participation in Honiara.
It took the Prime Minister, the Hon. Manesseh Sogavare, to come up with the key words that a change in mind set is needed if women in the Solomon Islands are to gain greater participation in politics and get genuine democracy.
The UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Akiko Suzaki spoke of some countries having adopted quotas enabling women a greater voice and representation in national parliaments.
Ms. Suzaki’s comments on quotas appear to have merit and perhaps the Coalition for Change Government (DCC) will give consideration to her views.
The conference has been somewhat ground breaking and a good initiative in the cause of women’s rights but it will take more than clichés and sounding the same old drum if positive developments flow from the discussions and initiatives suggested.
Ms Suzaki was right to suggest, in my opinion, that having more women in parliament could lead to an improvement in economic performance and extra attention being devoted to women’s health and education issues.
It is very much hoped, in keeping with the DCC Government’s policy aims, to see real progress ensue in gender equality and women’s greater participation in the business and political sectors.