26 Jun 2017

Women in leadership crisis in Solomon Islands

2:50 pm on 26 June 2017

The Solomon Islands national council of women has described a falling out between the minister and permanent secretary of the Ministry of Women, Youth and Children's Affairs as a slap in the face of women in the country.

Casper Fa'asala

Casper Fa'asala Photo: RNZ/ Koroi Hawkins

The minister, Freda Tuki Soriacomua, who is the country's only female MP and Ethel Sigimanu made headlines when Mrs Sigimanu confirmed that she had been moved to the ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs after a falling out with the minister.

Local women's groups and members of the public called for Mrs Sigimanu to be reinstated, saying reassigning her was ill-conceived given her many years of work championing the development of women and gender equality.

The head of the council's women in leadership desk, Casper Fa'asala, who himself helped run the minister's election campaign in 2014, said it was unfortunate that two prominent women leaders could not find a way to overcome their differences.

"For me as a man championing responsible for women in leadership it can be, not only, a negative impact of themselves, but it reflects a negative response to the needs of women of the solomon Islands advancing leadership in terms of management, in terms of political participation, and all that is ,to me, a slap in the face to all women of this country."

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