15 Jun 2012

Women hitting parliamentary ceiling in Solomon Islands

5:18 pm on 15 June 2012

The general secretary of the Solomon Islands YWCA says public resistance to the idea of reserved seats for women in parliament must be overcome.

A working group was set up earlier this year to investigate the concept of reserved seats as part of work on how to apply temporary special measures in the Solomon Islands context by the 2014 general election.

Jenta Tau says there is a widely-held belief that as a democracy Solomon Islands shouldn't have to resort to legislation to increase the representation of women.

But she says even though women are a majority of the population, men always get more votes.

"In terms of the status of women in leadership I mean we have well progressed, you can see women in public sectors, managers, permanent secretaries but just to the parliament we have nothing. We've only had one woman in parliament since independence."

Jenta Tau says it is a matter of gaining public confidence in the ability of women to be parliamentarians.