Solomon Islands would be a much fairer and balance country if it elects more of its women into parliament. That’s according to the United States Consul in Solomon Islands, Keithie Saunders. She was speaking at the commissioning service of Central Honiara by-election contender Paulina Radoe Firisua on Saturday at the South Seas Evangelical Church (SSEC) in Honiara.
Saunders said the US State Department, which she worked for, introduced some years back a policy that ensures half of staff working in the department are women. “Today, in spite of all the politics you might have read, the State Department is the engine that keeps the government moving and 50 per cent of them are women and it works very well,” Saunders said.
“So I often think If we could do that in the Solomons, this country could progress fast. Because I believe that a country is like a bird. It needed two wings to fly – one side women, one side men. For a bird, if one wing is down, it will struggle to fly. I believe our country is struggling at the moment because one of its wings is down.”
Saunders reminded Mrs Firisua that the upcoming by-election on 18 November will be tough because she is going up against eight male candidates. “But always keep to your vision, faith and believe and hopefully you will be successful.”
Addressing those who attended her commissioning, Mrs Firisua said she was born and raised in Central Honiara Constituency.
“Growing up in the constituency, I have witnessed the issues and challenges those in Central Honiara face everyday,” she said.
“Looking back, I can say we have lost our moral compass,” Mrs Firisua added.
A former central banker and faith-based worker, Mrs Firisua said she had decided to embark on this new journey after seeing the challenges and struggles of women, youth and children of Central Honiara.
“As a mother, and I am speaking for all mothers here, I wanted to see a better future for our children.
“Mothers are worried everyday over what the future holds for their children.
“So we need to go back to the family and community level to address the issues our women, youth and children face everyday.
“My intention to contest the by-election is to be a voice for women, youth and children and to give balance to the decision making in parliament.”
Mrs Firisua said she would be launching her election campaign this coming Saturday at the Honiara High School.
Source: Press Release