What else can I say, a woman has spoken. Nancy should be commended for taking the issue head-on. We need more women to come out and voice their views and ideas on this debate. Is it really the demand of women in Solomon Islands that they be allocated 10 parliamentary seats, or is it just a long time dream of women in the higher echelon who are looking for an easier way into Parliament?
Solomon Islands is a democratic country and the Constitution clearly say that all members of the country who reaches the voting age are eligible to be stand for elections. What's so unfair about that? Women argue that as mothers they are in a good position to lead the country, and bring stability and promote the virtues of good governance. Quite often fingers are pointed towards female leaders in Western countries that had performed well in their roles as leaders. The difference is that, these women are democratically elected, meaning that they gained a considerable support of their respective voters to get into parliament.
Its true that international research findings had in western countries has shown that women performed well and effectively compared to men in managerial positions and are more likely to follow office rules (2003 Report). However, such findings should not be used to demand a portion of seats in the Parliament. Women have to proof themselves to their voters. Remember, the power lies with the people, and they decide on whom that power will be vested in, whether he/she is a man or woman.
Lest we forget, there are other disadvantage groups in our country as well. Once 10 seats are granted to women, the disable people, the homosexuals, the religious fanatics and etc will demand piece of the cake. My advice to women, keep working harder. One day your electoral will realize your importance and switch their allegiance to you. Likewise, work on convincing your like, you can win a seat in Parliament just with the sole votes of women. Again, do your part. To women who are natural leaders in their matrilineal societies, its time you show your worth and lead your people.
Remember, the power the Parliamentarians exert in Parliament is not theirs, it's the peoples, and the people have the mandate to give it to whoever maintains their support. It would be unwise to grant women that same power just because they are women.
TEN Parliamentary Seats for Women
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Malaii Maesilia and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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