MEMBER of Parliament (MP) for VATUD Constituency, and Minister of Women, Youth, and Children’s Affairs, Hon Freda Tuki Soriocomua has strongly recommended aspiring women leaders of the 2018 Practice Parliament for Women to establish a stronger bond and connection with the society.
Tuki made her remarks at the official closing dinner and presentation ceremony held at the Mendana Hotel, Honiara.
“We have to make a positive connection with the people; we must also build a relationship with our people, and more importantly – we must listen to our peoples’ concerns and priorities because they are our voters.
“Our voters must know that they can trust us and to be their voice in Parliament or their link with government. We are that link between the government and constituency and we must live and demonstrate that trust placed on us through our actions as leaders,” Tuki said.
50 enthusiastic women across the eight Provinces of the Solomon Islands had been empowered to participate as candidates in any general election following the fourth Practice Parliament for Women.
She encouraged women candidates to their people so that they will be able to build their relationship and be able to listen to them and represent them.
“Women should know why they want to represent their constituencies, to know why they want to bring change and know who they will lead.
“Be respectful, be attentive, be humble and be honest.
“Don’t look down on yourselves as a woman, or the level of your education, or your family situation. But look out to the needs of the people that you will raise your voice for.
“If you can raise your voice for them-look up to the parliament and claim your seat,” Hon. Tuki said.
According to UNDP Solomon Islands Country Manager, Azusa Kubota, echoed the need for more women to participate in the democratic process and highlighted the innate ability of women to think more about the collective as a mark of quality leadership.
“In 15 of the Pacific countries where the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works, there are only 42 women MPs out of 559 MPs altogether. This represents 7.5% representation. When women represent 50% of the society, this does not sound right.
“Women are often care takers in the family and communities. Women always put others interests before theirs. Women always think about collective good rather than individual gain.”
“Women therefore naturally have the quality to serve the people and represent the people in the Parliament,” she added.