05th September, 2013
[Koror, Palau] UNDP and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat are in Palau this week to work with the Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs (MCCA) and the ‘Olbiil Era Kelulau‘ (OEK – National Congress) in facilitating the second Mock Congress for eleven Palauan women, most of whom are current elected State Legislators, who are interested to stand for the upcoming State and/or National elections. UN Women is also providing technical support in terms of assisting the candidates with campaign tips/media strategy to strengthen their campaigns in the lead up to elections.
Participating in the Mock Congress are Tiare Holm, Olympia Morei, Elvira Franz, Delilah Lecholch, Blanche Salii, Ush Luii, Lillian Marcil, Ann Pedro, Helena Yoichi, Geggie Udui and Ann Singeo.
[Image below] Senator Inabo, one of the three current Palauan Senators, addressing the 2nd Mock Congress for women participants, at the opening ceremony, held at the old OEK building.
Two days of training on Sept. 3-4 included presentations by the legal counsels from both the House of Delegates and the Senate about ‘Lawmaking process’ in the Palau Congress and briefing on five draft Bills which are the subject of debate for the Mock Congress. The 2nd Mock Congress session for women was held on Sept. 5 in the Senate Chambers, where the women were able to review five draft Bills and provide suggested amendments to strengthen the scope of the bill and address the gender dynamics of what the draft Bills hoped to achieve/enforce. The women participated exceptionally well, with footage of the Mock Congress session to be aired on national TV in the days following the event.
The final day, Sept 6, was a debrief session for the participants on the Mock congress experience, as well as a session on public speaking tips, and campaign strategies/developing a media strategy to strengthen the women’s campaigns in the upcoming State/National elections.
Two years ago, in September 2011, the history-making 1st ever Mock Congress for Palauan women brought together 14 women to demonstrate and strengthen their own political empowerment. Read about the 1st Mock Congress here.
Photos courtesy of Ms. Adora Nobuo, the Public Information officer for the 9th OLBIIL ERA KELULAU (9th OEK – Palau National Congress)