Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Solomon Star
Solomon Is.
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

THE Solomon Islands Democratic Party (SIDP) strongly wants to see women in parliament, according to party executive Mathew Wale.
Speaking in a media forum organised by the Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI) on Sunday, Mr Wale said there are many ways women can be given a chance to be in parliament.

“One way was through the scrapped proposal to reserve 10 temporary seats for women,” Mr Wale said.

He however described the plan to reserve 10 temporary seats for women as “ambitious”.

“While the SIDP wants to see women in parliament, we feel that this stage, given the cultural contexts and domination by men in the political process, perhaps 10 is a bit too ambitious.”

He said something similar to a temporary special measure is possible.

“And if we are to achieve that, there ought to be wider consultation so that there is a greater sense of ownership by the wider community so that it galvanised pressure and support on MPs to see that this is something the community wants to see.”

Mr Wale admitted that women proved to serve their countries really well in countries that have women parliamentarians.

“However our challenge is not that, our challenge is men always come up with good excuses as to why it must not happen.

“So we feel whatever the option, we want to give much greater leadership on what that option is to women.”

He said women should be proactive in identifying that option.

“But we will be part with you in making sure that there is greater ownership and consultation.”

Mr Wale said this could have been one of the weaknesses of the previous process.

“The level of consultation in the previous process was perhaps not as broad and therefore the level of ownership of that particular initiative did not have a broad support.”