THE wish to have more women in parliament is being blocked by a number of barriers, it is reported.
These barriers are stated in the National Gender Equality and Women’s Development Policy 2016-2020, of the ministry of women (MWYCFA).
It reports that Young Women’s Parliamentary Group found during a training in 2014 that most people support the idea – but in theory only.
It was noted that despite the high support, only a few actually voted for women candidates.
One of the highlighted disadvantages cited is the prevailing practice of vote-buying, since women tend not to indulge much in the habit as compared to men.
Another problem is how most cultures prefer male leadership over females’.
Interestingly, there is a general tendency among voters to simply avoid voting for a candidate who is perceived to have a very low chance of winning.
A MWYCFA report in 2015 reveals that there is little progress in increasing the participation of women in decision making and leadership.
While the number of women in senior occupations has increased, the number of women in managerial posts has decreased.
The Solomon Islands Government recognises that intervention cannot only be targeted towards women’s representation in national parliament but also in the number of women in formal employment.
The achievement of equal participation of women and men at all levels of decision making, governance and leadership requires a complete approach to addressing the barriers to women’s participation and representation in the first place.
In this instance, that Solomon Islands Government recognises the important role played by civil society organisations at the provincial and local level to encourage and raise awareness on the right of women to participation and representation in public life.