Various women stakeholders, along with the Ministry of Women Youth and Children Affairs and UNIFEM, held a workshop recently to look at ways in which women of the Solomon Islands could have better representation at the political level.Speaking during the presentation Mrs. Ruth Maetala, the CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all Discrimination against Women) Officer with the Ministry of Women Youth and Children Affairs, stated that the objective of the workshop is to have a greater understanding on the special measures needed to ensure "that the voice of our women is heard at the highest level of political leadership."
"The workshop therefore aims to develop and design strategies to ensure greater participation at all level of decision making, particularly in parliament" she said. She added that while there are no special measures put into law by the government she says, "Special measures are in line with the CEDAW convention, a convention that the Solomon Island Government had ratified."
"The intended special measures we are looking at submitting to government "is to reserve ten seats for women in parliament." Mrs. Maetala said that this is the time to "look at how to create and carry forward such strategies...we need to plan and work at the submission with all your inputs," she said.
Solomon Times understand that the submission on the "Special Measures," looking at reserving 10 seats for women in parliament, would be the first of its kind in the Pacific region.