By EDDIE OSIFELO
MINISTER of Education and Human Resources, Lanelle Tanangada used her motion of sine die speech in parliament to defend “women in politics”.
This was after Solomon Star has published an article on Tuesday, November 24 by Alfred Sasako and titled “From A Simple Housewife to Parliament”.
The author was referring to Ethel Vokia, who won the recent North East Guadalcanal by election, who defeated former Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua and two other male candidates.
Mrs Tanangada, also MP for Gizo Kolombangara, told Parliament she was appalled by the attempt to equate the role of a housewife to a role of one that is “simple”.
She said there is nothing simple about the role of a housewife.
“The calling and labelling the role of a housewife as ‘simple’ does not recognise the significant role a mother plays as a housewife and is demeaning at best not only to the Member for North East Guadalcanal but also all mothers who are housewives.
“The role they play are far from being simple,” she said.
Furthermore, Tanangada said a housewife plays the most important role in the most important organisation in the community, the country and the world; that is the family.
She said housewife role in any family is akin that of a manager.
“She is the first to rise with morning sun and ensures that the home is ready for all to wake.
“Similarly, the worries of a housewife in ensuring a home is not shared with any person and she sleeps at night only to rise in the morning and repeat the same worry,” she said.
Tanangada said she (mother) ensures the home is well kept and is functioning properly.
“All my colleague in this esteemed House will attest to it.
“There is nothing simple in the role of a ‘housewife’. Women are the fabric of our society,” she added.
Currently, there are four women elected into the 11th Parliament.
Tanangada said this should be a welcoming news for all women of this nation, yet it is not surprising at all to have the minority of women still are unappreciative of the fact that they have women in this honorable house.
As such, she is still trying to understand the gist of the long article by Transparency Solomon Islands on November 25, 2020.
“Firstly, why is this even a topic for discussion by TSI.
“When a man prepares to go into politics his wife is the first to know, she silently but tirelessly gives him all the support he needs,” she said.
Tanangada said she is yet to see TSI publication acknowledging women when a man wins, but it can have the audacity to scrutinise women who wins in by-elections.
She said it would be better to check on election processes rather than targeting candidates.
“Or further check on eligibility of candidates rather than relationships between former candidates.
“TSI should be exalting the fact that there are more women in Parliament now,” she said.
Tanangada said TSI should comment on Bills and delivery of projects.
She said elections or by elections are the only legal process to elect MPs be it the wife, brother or son of former candidate.
“Labelling the woman winner as wife of former MP is not only demeaning but undermines the legal process of electing a MP.
“One thing that is true for all women in this round house is the we all went to the polls,” she said.
“Why am I even bringing this topic up in this Sine Die Motion?
“It is because I would like to encourage young aspiring women leaders to dream big, and please know all these elected, honourable male colleagues in this house are sons of a beautiful hardworking mother in that they do have the heart to serve not only men, but also women alike,” she said.
Tanangada said it is about using our God given potential, and the most important gift, the mind and heart to think, act and serve the marginalised.
“I would like to thank and acknowledge all women and young girls of this nation.
“Let us not be weary in doing well, in that we must continue to rock the cradle and nurture our young to becoming more responsible citizens of this nation,” she said.