Call in Bougainville for more education on electoral rights
An unsuccessful candidate in Bougainville wants to see more education about the rights of women to contest open seats in the region.
A women's activist in Bougainville who unsuccessfully contested the election wants more education on the rights of women to stand in open seats.
Bougainville has 3 reserved seats for women but women are also entitled to stand in the 33 open seats.
A record 11 women stood in open seats and for the first time, one, Josephine Getsi, won.
She defeated 11 men in Peit constituency.
But it was different story for Hona Holan in Haku.
She stood against 23 men and says while she enjoyed the experience, she struggled to counter some deep seated attitudes about women being involved in politics.
HONA HOLAN: Part of my campaigning some of the time I had to tell the people that the open seat was open for women to contest, because to them they thought it was a men's seat only. I had to really explain to the people that I can also contest the open seat because they thought we already had have our seat, (the women'ss reserved seats). They asked me a lot of questions why I had to go and contest the open seat when we had our seat already, the women had our seat already. I explained that the three seats the women have is for the temporary measures only, but to them it really was something new.
DON WISEMAN; Is there are need there then for bodies like the electoral commission or whoever does that sort of work to make the point known?
HH: Yes I just went to the registration office to see the executive officer there and the observers, the local observers, to tell them that they need to tell the electoral office to maybe do a newsletter or something like that to the community, to the people because they were saying that the open seat was for men only.
DW: And you say that one of the other reasons was that there was a fair degree of intimidation at polling stations by the other candidates?
HH: Yes, yes and money was used and they had a transport, to transport voters, and you know, people in the village when you transport them they will just vote for you. Even if they are not a good candidate they will just vote because they are being transported by candidates they will have to vote for them.
DW: In terms of intimidation what do you actually mean?
HH: I mean they were saying I was a losing candidate, that don't waste your vote on the woman because she is a losing candidate. You have to vote for this person because he is the one, people voted for him already and he is the winning candidate.
DW: That is campaign talk though, isn't it?
HH: That's campaign talk, yes.
DW: Overall though are you happy with the experience?
HH: I am happy, I am happy because going back to my constituency and contesting that seat, being the first woman to contest that seat against men. I am very happy, I didn't expect to win because I found out during my campaign period that I had to explain to the people about the seat itself. I told them that this seat is open for anybody to contest but it took some of my time.
DW: Next time around in five years time do you think you will consider standing again?
HH: I will try again, I will try again because this is what my supporters are telling me.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: