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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Women Concern: by Joe Inomae

Editor's note: TARD believes that women should be given equal representation in the highest decision making body such as the parliament. Women are influential decision makers in all societies and when none is elected to parliament, there is a high chance that women and youth concerns will be overlooked for the next four years. Women all over the world have proven that they can perform at the highest levels of decision making authorities, and it is a sad case that it does not materialise in the 2006 elections.

Hello, the post-election syndrome still hovers over the islands.

It seems women have been the losers in the election. But the truth is that Solomon Islands loses out in the process of not even one female getting into Parliament.

It was a sad ending for the 26 women contestants who braved the all male stronghold of 427 candidate vying for 50 seats in the Parliament. Despite the loss, the increase by 100 percent of women contestants in this year's general election, compared to the 13 who stood in 2001, is encouraging. Given time the women candidates will secure seat in the house.

The President of the National Council of Women Hilda Kari was disappointed with the lack of confidence among the country's women population on the 26 female candidates who contested last week's general elections. In a statement, the she also questioned whether or not women were able to exercise their freedom to vote. Ms Kari says she was sad that no women made it to parliament in the last election because a Parliament without women is like a home or a family without a mother. She says that without a woman in parliament, the sufferings, hardships and cries of the ordinary people will once again be low in the government's list of priorities. She calls on women, including the 26 who contested the elections last week, to cooperate find a way to ensure the new Government consider their views. The NCW President also urges donor partners to help with plans to alleviate illiteracy and poverty among women in Solomon Islands.

Another Solomon Islands woman living in the USA, Christina Ramosaea-Gilbert also voiced her disppointment. She congratulates Solomon Islands on another political journey and welcome the newly elected members as well as the women who had the guts to run for the elections! Below is a quote from her views on the election.

"What Brave women! I am sad that our society did not take the opportunity to see the potentials you have and would be contributed to our nation! Congratulations all the same! I am extremely dissappointed that no women have been elected! Women contribute more in societies. And in societies that women's contributions, whether they be home makers to the top CEO jobs in the corporate world, down to the grandmothers in villages in the far remote areas of the globe, notwithstanding those smart and asertive women in congress and parliaments around the world, women contribute alot!!! I as a woman, I am so dissappointed that our society did not see that and it obviously did not materialise in the 2006 election.

On that note, I would also like to mention that our newly elected members must! and should start doing what they truely suppose to do when they are there in the respected house in the land, the parliament, and that is, to truely serve those who voted for them; those who put their children's fate and families care and hopes and dreams for a better future!!!!!! To the strong, wonderful and smart women of the islands, do not give up hope!!! You are still the bearers of the future of the islands. Take this election as an example and start teaching your children - both boys and girls to start looking at women as future potential leaders! To teachers on the islands - start giving a new perspective toward your female students. Give them the leadership they need to be assertive (not big-headed!!) in dealing with the world outside their homes and globally!"

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