STUDY FOUND IMPEDIMENTS TO WOMEN’S ELECTORAL SUCCESS IN S.I.

The ANU grounds. Photo credit: APP.

The ANU grounds. Photo credit: APP.

New research from the Australian National University (ANU) reveals it is unlikely women candidates will be successful in this year’s National elections.

Professor Terence Wood who authored the study suggests female candidates are at a financial and social disadvantage compared to men which prevent them from gaining the necessary influence to win votes.

Only two women have ever been elected to Parliament in Solomon Islands – former MP of Northeast and East-Central Guadalcanal Hilda Kari and Vika Lusibaea, wife of former Malaitan Eagle Force field commander-turned-politician Jimmy Lusibaea.

In an interview with Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat, Professor Wood says this does not show a very high success rate.

Meanwhile, he says the focus on helping women candidates should not be training them on how to campaign.

He says what needs to be done in the short-term is to help the women establish links to their constituencies, enabling them to have a track record of service to their people for at least a decade.

Meanwhile, the Solomon Islands National Council of Women (NCW) appreciates the new research finding from the Australian’s National University.

NCW made the statement after research author professor Terence Wood from the Australian National University suggests, Solomon Islands female candidates are unlikely to be successful in this year’s general election.

But Desk Officer for the Women in Leadership and Gender Casper Fa’asala said the findings is an encouragement to ensure women must prepare to be successful in this year’s election.

“The results are like driving forces for us as they will help us to prepare. It’s an encouragement, it’s something that helps us to develop alternatives to what its findings and recommendations are to ensure that women win this election, at least a good number of women will win this election in 2014. So it’s something the Women in Leadership Desk appreciates.”

Mr Fa’asala adds, NCW is optimistic that about five women will be elected to parliament this year.

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