Solomon Star

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Jan. 25) – Women’s struggle to be part of the Solomon Islands political leadership has been a hot-button issue in recent days.

Already 15 women have indicated contesting the upcoming national elections.

But a recent national radio talk back show on this issue proved a mix reaction from the men-folk.

Some conservative thinkers argued women should not be wasting their time contesting the national elections. Not only because they will never win a seat, but also traditional Solomon Islands culture dictates women should never be equal to men.

There are however a lot of men who are openly supporting women in their struggle to get to the top. These men argued women should be given every opportunity to be part of the country’s highest decision-making body.

This paper is of the view that Solomon Islands’ women are equal partners in development. They just cannot be ignored in the decision-making process.

As such, their strive to enter parliament must be encouraged and supported. We believe the more women we have in Parliament, the better.

But leadership position is something that is not given in a plate. It is achieved through one’s struggle and sweat.

Our local women leaders know that.

That is why they are struggling. They’ve been doing that for years.

But the results are not good enough. In the 27 years of the country’s political independence, only two women managed to enter the floors of Parliament.

Now, our women are taking a concerted effort in their quest to become part of the country’s highest leadership.

With the help of the National Council of Women, they are now laying down their election strategy together.

There is certainly nothing wrong with that and the intending women candidates must continue to prepare that way.

For those who oppose women taking up leadership positions, we have this to say: The winds of change are blowing across the globe’s political landscape. The winds have ushered in women to become governor-generals, presidents, prime ministers and other significant posts long occupied only by men.

Women not only occupied these top posts, but in many instances, they proved themselves to be equal or even better than their men-folk.

So women should be accepted to become part of Solomon Islands top leadership.

Those who think otherwise must now change their mentality.

January 26, 2006

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