Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has announced NCRA's reserved seats policy for women in parliament will take a developmental approach rather than a rights-based approach.
In its 2010-2012 policy document, NCRA states it will fast-track women's political participation in parliament via 10 reserved seats in parliament. The reserved seats will only be contested by women candidates - one reserved seat per province with the seat rotating amongst the province's constituencies each election. The 2011 Peoples Survey launched in Honiara last week reported strong support for women in parliament and 91 per cent of over five-thousand people surveyed said they supported the idea of reserved seats for women in parliament.
Commenting on the statistics, Prime Minister Lilo said the idea of reserved seats must be in context with the constitution and must be seen to be compatible with the spirit of the constitution in terms of promoting equality. “Here we are talking about reserved seats, whereas the Constitution is talking about an equal right to all citizens of the country to their freedom in making a choice as who should lead and govern the affairs of our people.
There is also an angle of the Constitution which we have to it to the legal experts to work it through that we have to make these as a national outcome to have women being represented in Parliament that it is Constitutional thing.” said PM Lilo. Lilo also said NCRA is committed to its 10 reserved seats policy for women in parliament but will take a development-oriented approach rather than a rights-based approach.
[Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation - PACNEWS (PINA)]
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