DEAR EDITOR, following a reported overwhelming turnout for the Gizo-Kolombangara by-election last week, the poll closed with a landslide victory for Mrs Lanelle Tanagada, a former teacher and the holder of a Masters degree from Waikato University in New Zealand.
Mrs Tangada won by a 987 majority from the 2580 votes that had been cast.
Her historic win means she is the fourth women in the history of this country to enter parliament.
The current parliament will now have two female MPs.
The other current female MP being the Hon. Freda Tuki of Temotu Vatud.
The win by Mrs Tanagada has been described as a sweet victory for women in the Solomon Islands.
In 2009 Florence Naesol then the Deputy Clerk to the National Parliament, said “Women taking up senior positions in the Public Service are becoming acceptable among us and I’m seeing a brighter future with Solomon Islands women assuming leadership roles in government”
I too, over the years, have witnessed seeing the value of women’s increasing participation in decision making processes in the public service and across the broader areas of life in the Solomon Islands.
Clearly, from Mrs Tanagada’s election victory attitudes towards women’s in the electoral role are changing, albeit still too slowly, but nevertheless I see change is on the way.
Some commentators have already said the victory is about advancing women in leadership and gender equality.
Another voiced the option that Mrs Tanagada’s win was a huge victory because the silent majority had spoken.
Mrs Tanaganda will be sworn in as a new MP soon.
I believe all will wish Mrs Tanaganda success in her parliamentary role.