BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO
WHILST women leaders in the country are battling to have reserved seats for women at the political level through Temporary Special Measures (TSM), a report revealed there is a large information gap on TSM with very limited awareness.
Research Coordinator Ruth Maetala revealed this June 15th at a local press conference organised by Women’s Right Action Movement (WRAM) in Honiara.
Maetala told local journalists that according to the first project to examine in-depth views on TSM called the Public Perceptions of Women as Political Leaders Project, it recorded a large information gap on TSM with limited awareness throughout the areas in which research was conducted.
“76 percent of survey respondents had heard nothing of TSM prior to the survey. Yet people – once informed about TSM –are generally supportive of its introduction.
“92 percent of survey respondents said they supported TSM in provincial assemblies, and the same proportion of respondents supported TSM in the national parliament.
“Even people who support TSM are wary of associated risks involved with its introduction.
“These include women representatives not being respected and facing hardship, family discord, women being unprepared for a political career and concern about making short-sighted changes to the political systems,” he said.
Anika Kingmele said TSM are measures or action taken to reduce inequality between men and women in different spheres and it could be within the education sector, it could be within the employment sector to name a few.
“Basically the aim is to increase the number of women within the particular space where there it is dominated by men and this case our focus enhanced the research is in political space.
“This is to reduce the inequality in the political space, inside political positions be it at the national level or provincial level.
“TSM as the name for itself it is temporary in nature as soon as the outcome is achieved, the measures or actions will be taken out or removed because the outcomes have become natural,” said Mrs Kingmele
Moreover, this research project is led by the Women’s Right Action Movement and supported by International Women’s Agencies (IWDA) it aims to deepen understanding on public perception of the qualities and qualifications for political leadership and gender norms associated with these perceptions.
The intention of the research was to generate findings that would assist and advocates for gender equality to support the meaningful participation of women leaders.