Temporary Special Measures Working Committee has expressed disappointment in former Governor General, Sir Nathaniel Waena, for his negative remarks towards the concept of special measures for women.In a statement, the Working Committee says Sir Nathaniel's departing comments on the special measures for women in parliament being undemocratic has come as a great disappointment.
The Committee says there are concrete examples around the Pacific in which affirmative action has been taken using special measures for women.
The Temporary Special Measures Working Committee says examples include Bougainville Autonomous government, the Parity Law of French Polynesia and communal seats in Fiji - all of which their government's have used special measures to open up their parliaments to women parliamentarians.
The Committee says Sir Nathaniel has misunderstood the basic thrust of the proposal for the reserved seats for women.
It says the proposal requires women to contest elections through normal election processes - the only difference being voters would have to cast two votes - one for an MP in the open seat and one for an MP in the reserved seat. Open seats are contested by both male and female candidates while reserved seats will be contested by only female candidates.
The TSM Working Committee is made up of various ministerial and NGO stakeholders and is led by the Ministry of Women, Youth and Children Affairs. The Committee's proposal to have 10 reserved seats in parliament was recently dropped by Government Caucus.
Copyright © 2009 SIBC. All Rights Reserved