Having ten seats reserved for women in Parliament is not possible, not at this time, according to the Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, John Keniapisia.Speaking to local journalists at the Partnership Framework Media Workshop last week, Mr. Keniapisia said government's position on the ten reserved seats for women in Parliament in 2010 is "a false hope for the nation."
He explained that although the Ministry of Women, Youth and Children's Affairs has been working on the proposed plan for ten reserved seats for women in Parliament, the government's position, under its proposed Political Party Integrity Bill, is to provide 10% of party membership for women.
"The mind of the government is for women to join political parties, not having ten reserved seats for women," Mr. Keniapisia explained.
He said that while women are good leaders, there are many barriers that needs to be overcomed such as societal, cultural and other similar, but important, issues.
Mr. Keniapisia said that it took Australia many years of educating their people before involving women in Parliament.
"In the case of Solomon Islands, it is only thirty-one years of independence and the plan of ten reserved seats for women is not possible to come to pass because the nation is still ignorant and it will take time."
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