Portfolio call for only woman MP in Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands National Council of Women calls for ministerial portfolio for the country's only woman MP.
The Solomon Islands National Council of Women say it wants a ministerial portfolio for the only woman MP to be elected to the country's 50 member parliament in this year's election.
Freda Soria Comua won the seat of Temotu Vatud, ousting former Foreign Affairs Minister, Clay Forau Soalaoi.
The President of the National Council of Women, Ella Kauhue, told Koroi Hawkins the win made up for a shock result with the other 25 women candidates all missing out.
ELLA KAUHUE: It has been a very shocking result for women as 25 of our women did not manage to go through. But at the end of the day we are happy that one of our women from Temotu Vatud constituency is now a member of parliament so that is a great result for the women of this country and I think for the National Council of Women.
KOROI HAWKINS: Did she go through your leadership trainings and the programs and all the mentoring that you said you were doing in the lead up to the election?
EK: Yes absolutely, she came and attended the transformational leadership that was funded by the UN Women but facilitated by the National Council of Women and Vois Blo Mere Solomon Islands.
KH: What are your hopes for her? What is it that you would like to see this single woman MP do or perform in the male dominated parliament?
EK: That is a very challenging question at this time. As you know 70 percent of former MPs have retained their seats in Parliament. If you look at the 30 percent that are left they are all new and one of them is Freda. She will need mentoring and support from the National Council of Women and also from, you know a greater support from her constituency. I think at this moment of time it is not fair to, to really like think of expectation from the National Council of Women and from her constituency. I think we have to start with her, work with her and I think support her in her journey as a new member of parliament and also must not forget that she is the only female member in this country so we will be working with her, supporting her and I hope that will continue.
KH: Reflecting on the 25 who did not make it through as you put it?
EK: Although the National General Elections 2014 was quite very peaceful, to me as speaking, it is the most corrupt general election ever. If you are here now you will hear a lot of stories from the public and about the kind of money that's been spent out in the communities, especially during the Devil's Night, the cash that candidates giving to people to vote for them, you look at it and you think that, like people are talking about now the 70 members coming (70% of the 50 MPs retained their seats) that the members that are elected now they are the voice of the people of this country. I don't think so I think when people choose they decide in a democratic way and they decide who they want to vote for. But in this process, in this previous election it's cash that we are talking about. People being lured by money to vote for many of those candidates that have won this 2014 general elections.
KH: Do you expect or would you like the only female candidate to get a ministerial portfolio?
EK: Absolutely I wish she could, they could give her a portfolio. So that from there, you know, women will be able to work with her and support her in what she is going to do in the next, four years.
KH: So is there a particular Ministry that you would like her to get?
EK: Well it would be good if she becomes the Minister of Women Children and Family Affairs.
KH: Why is that?
EK: I have no reason to say that but I think since, you know, that's the main ministry that looks after the affairs of the most vulnerable. Women, youth, children and family in this country and as a woman I think, you know she will do a good job.
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