Bougainville's Getsi says success down to community involvement
A lot of campaigning and years of community the key to success for Bougainville woman winning in an open seat.
The Bougainville election drew to a close at the weekend and many of the old faces are returning to the new parliament.
But one new arrival is the first woman to win in an open seat in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province, Josephine Getsi, who defeated 11 men in Peit constituency in north Bougainville.
A record 11 women stood in open seats, alongside the 21 contesting the 3 reserved seats for women.
Ms Getsi told Don Wiseman she puts her success down to her work in the community and extensive campaigning.
JOSEPHINE GETSI: What I feel is that I was able to win through the way we were able to convince the teams that travel around giving our awareness. First of all we started off with our awareness to the people
DON WISEMAN: And you have been building that awareness for some time?
JG: Yes before the real campaign.
DW: But I imagine the other women candidates were doing something similar, so what is it that separated you?
JG: I also feel that because as a teacher working among the people before I actually came in with what I am now. The people knew me, knew me very well. Working with them together, working amongst them, they knew me very well as a teacher working with the community the people, the different groups of people, the youths, and I also work with the women - involved in the women activities in the community and Bougainville as a whole. Being with the Women's Federation, I think that gave me support to convince the people that I should be a member.
DW: It's a critical period for the ABG isn't it? As you prepare for the referendum on possible independence. But you yourself will have specific goals. What will you be hoping to achieve yourself?
JG: There are a lot of things that I see that have not been met among my people like, peace and reconciliations that have not been met in my area, to carry out reconciliation amongst people.
DW: Talking there about reconciliation as a result of the Civil War?
JG: Yeah, in line with the Bougainville crisis.
DW: The way women have been treated in Bougainville even though it is generally a matriarchal society has been pretty poor hasn't it, for the past generation. And in a lot of ways when we talk to people like Helen Hakena it seems to be getting worse. So do you have any specific ideas about what you might do to try and stop that?
JG: There are a lot of things that I see that youths especially that I talk about, youths and the women, and these people should be given opportunities that would make people come out of these activities that made them traumatised during the time we were in the Bougainville crisis. Better to keep these people busy with good things.
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