Women were the majority of early bird voters showing up at Sasamongga, Cannan, Sepa and Malangono to cast their votes at Polling Stations as soon as they were declared open by their Presiding Officers.
In Sasamongga after the presiding officer for station 1 declared it open a woman was the very first person to walk in and cast her vote.
Observing the scene of women pro-actively taking part in the electoral process Choiseul Provincial officials say they are encouraged by the turn out and hope the trend continues in future electoral events.
“Travelling around to a number of communities we too have noticed the turnout by women during the early hours of the day and applaud them for being part of the bi-election,” says Choiseul Province Speaker Gregory Sokeni.
“In the past it has been common practice in many parts of the province for a majority of women to leave the voting to their male family members to vote on their behalf.”
“In the past years we have seen a great shift from this way of thinking and have begun to witness an increase of women registering to vote in both national and provincial elections.”
“This year is no exception as women from all around have travelled to their respective polling stations and were the majority of early voters who arrived even before the stations was declared open,” says Sokeni.
A number of ladies who were in line awaiting to cast their votes explained that they as women and girls have regular chores throughout the day and had to be early to vote before returning home.
“We feel that the last two years have been unproductive and truly see the need to ensure a national representative is voted in so that we can finally begin to benefit from government assistance and projects towards our communities.”
“Because of this we saw it fit that instead of being lazy about the duties we have as women, we have chosen to get up early and make our way to vote because we believe it is important for us to be a part of this process.”
BY TERENCE ZIRU
Gizo News Bureau