Women must step up : Clark

Helen Clark during the Solomon Islands National Women’s Leadership workshop in Honiara today. Photo: UNDP.

Society needs women in decision-making, says the visiting former New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark.

Ms Clark who is the fifth longest serving and first female Prime Minister of New Zealand is in Honiara on a four-day visit.

Speaking to SIBC News in an exclusive interview today, Ms Clark says society needs women in decision-making.

She says Solomon Islands cannot achieve its national development goals without women being fully part of them.

“Now when you look at where the Solomons is at the moment one woman electorate at the last general election one in a by-election it’s not much so you know, you do need to be thinking I think of what special measures could be whether it’s a quota, whether you change the electoral system, I think there’s always been debate around these things,”she said.

“The point I make is that for the society you need women in decision-making. You can’t achieve you national development goals, your sustainable development goals without women being fully part of that.”

Meanwhile on reserved seats for women, Ms Clark says there is no doubt it can work.”I think it did try to make a breakthrough for women and break the cycle of this overwhelmingly male parliaments being elected.

There’s no doubt that special measures work. They’ve worked in quite a lot of African countries but not only Africa, Rwanda which brought in special measures and had to rebuild itself after a genocide and even worse set of events than happened with the tragic events in Solomon Islands, “she said.

“They’ve ended up with the largest proportion of women members of a lower house anywhere in the world so the women have really broken through.”

By: Rickson Bau.

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