World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Pacific: Strategies for Increasing Women in Decision-Making

Strategies for Increasing Women in Decision-Making in the Pacific

Nadi- July 22, 2011 - Strategic partnerships, targeted communications, enabling legislation and training women for leadership roles were highlighted as some of the crucial ingredients in increasing the number of women in decision-making in the Pacific.

These points were raised by four women who spoke at a panel discussion on “Supporting Pacific Women in Public Life and Decision-Making” that took place yesterday at the 4th Pacific Women's Ministerial Meeting.

The speakers included: Ethel Sigimanu from the Solomon Islands; Hon Dame Carol Kidu, Papua New Guinea's Minister for Community Development and Women’s Affairs; Léna Temauri from French Polynesia, and United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Kim Henderson.

Strategic Partnerships
Ethel Sigimanu, the Permanent Secretary of the Solomon Islands Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs spoke about her country’s experience in trying to get legislation on Temporary Special Measures to increase the number of women in Parliament.

Temporary Special Measures (TSM) or affirmative action policies like quotas are specifically permitted under Article 4 of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as a short-term measure to “kickstart” an increase in women’s representation, while longer-term efforts are being made to create a more equal and sustainable level playing field for women in politics.

Ms Sigimanu said that in 33 years of government in Solomon Islands, there had only been one female parliamentarian. In 2009, the Women’s Ministry started a campaign for TSM to introduce reserved seats for women through legislative change. She said that the “TSM submission could not be taken to Cabinet because the voices against it were stronger than the voices for it.”
“We have learnt a few lessons in this process. We realise that we should have reached a critical mass of people in the community that understood and supported TSM. Buy-in from parliamentarians is critical as is the need for male champions,” said Ms Sigimanu.

Creating Space
Hon Dame Carol Kidu, Papua New Guinea's Minister for Community Development and Women’s Affairs said that, “The political environment in Melanesia (except in the French Territories) does not give equal opportunities for women to win seats in Parliament.”

She said that cultural perceptions needed to be addressed and a targeted communications strategy supported this process.

“Women in parliament is about partnership in development, it is not about women being stronger than men. It is not about taking men’s places. Temporary special measures are about creating some space for women,” she said.

Support for Women Leaders
Léna Temauri, Advisor to the Minister of Culture, Arts, Family and Women’s Affairs of French Polynesia spoke about how the French Parity Law increased the number of women in local and national government.

“While this law has increased the number of women in decision making roles, work still remains to be done particularly in the areas of training women for leadership roles and changing the public’s opinion about women in decision making, ” she said.

Lessons from the Rest of the World
Kim Henderson, the Gender Team Leader for UNDP in the Asia Pacific Region shared examples of how the numbers of women in decision making could be increased.

“In 2010, forty five percent of the countries globally had some form of temporary special measures to increase the number of women in Parliament. These countries have almost double the amount of women in parliament than countries without them,” said Ms Henderson.

She said that the type of Temporary Special Measures most suited to a country depended on its electoral system.

“Another entry point for increasing the number of women in decision making roles is through local governments. There are a greater number of seats available and higher chances of winning them,” she said.

The Pacific region has the lowest percentage of women parliamentarians in the world and includes four of the six countries in the world with no women legislators: Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

“In 2010, five Parliamentary chambers renewed with no women members and 4 of these 5 are in the Pacific - Nauru, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu,” said Ms Henderson.

The discussion was organized by UNDP in partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

The Pacific Women's Ministerial Meeting, during which the discussion took place is organized by SPC. It brings together ministers, government officials, civil society and development partners working in the area of gender from 22 Pacific Island Countries and Territories.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Israeli Soldier Kills PA Minister At Non-Violent Protest

Yesterday, an Israeli soldier killed Palestinian Authority (PA) Settlment minister, Ziad Abu Ein, at a non-violent demonstration in the village of Turmusaya. More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Ban on Palestinians claiming compensation against military
  • Pakistan School Killings

    GENEVA (16 December 2014) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday condemned what he described as “an utterly despicable and incomprehensibly vicious attack on defenceless children” at a co-educational school ... More>>

    ALSO:


    Sobering Data On American's Apathy About CIA Torture

    Despite a scathing report on torture, a majority of survey respondents approve of the CIA's grisly methods. More>>

    Sea Shepherd Intercepts Toothfish Poachers

    Yesterday, at approximately 2152 AEDT, the Sea Shepherd conservation ship, Bob Barker, intercepted the illegal fishing vessel Thunder, at 62 15’ South, 81 24’ East, inside the CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) ... More>>

    The White House: Charting A New Course On Cuba

    We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live in the United States, and the 11 million Cubans who share similar hopes for a more positive future for Cuba. More>>

    ALSO:


    Journalist Most Recent Victim Of Israeli Military

    Bashar, a journalist from Palestine TV, was shot in the left leg at Kufr Qaddum on Friday the 5th of December 2014. More>>

    ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Swiss government’s bid to convene a summit on Palestine
  • UN News - UN-backed reconstruction efforts continue in Gaza
  • UNICEF Mobilizes To Reach People Affected By Typhoon

    As Typhoon Hagupit wreaks havoc through the Philippines, UNICEF is acting quickly to support the Filipino government’s response to the emergency, providing lifesaving supplies and services for children and women in the areas hardest hit by cyclone-force ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • FAO - FAO praises government for early typhoon warnings
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news