FIRST SOLOMON ISLANDS WOMAN MAGISTRATE APPOINTED

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (June 25, 1999 - PACNEWS/SIBC)---Ester Lelapitu has become the first Solomon Islands woman to be appointed to the country's judiciary.

She was appointed a second class magistrate by the Judicial and Legal Service Commission.

Lelapitu, who is from Vonunu, Vella la Vella, Western Province, became a court clerk in 1982 and has since handled administrative duties for magistrates in Honiara, Gizo and Auki.

In a statement, Judicial and Legal Services said the appointment of Lelapitu to become a magistrate shows gender equality, which the judiciary is trying to achieve.

The statement also praised Lelapitu's accomplishments and added that her appointment as a magistrate is expected to encourage other women to follow in her footsteps.

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