Despite culture being the bedrock of our identity as Solomon Islanders, it never supports the idea of equality in Parliament.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare made the statement during the award ceremony for recipients of the 2016 Secondary School Essay Competition on Women’s Leadership and Political Participation in Honiara.
“Our traditional and cultural systems which although is the bedrock of our identity as Solomon Islanders and the foundation upon which every Solomon Islander views the world sadly reinforces the notion that Parliament is the domain of the patriarch. And yet the connection between an increase in the number of women in Parliament and the advancement of policies and poverty alleviation, healthcare, child care, education and economic sustainability is obvious all around the world.”
He said less than two percent of candidates have been women, adding that only three women have ever been elected to Parliament.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sogavare said the Government has made some progress in addressing the issue of women’s participation in the leadership and political levels.
But he said change must happen first with one’s values, perceptions, mindsets and attitudes about the roles of men and women as decision-makers in society.