14 Apr 2009

Solomon Islands PM to introduce paper on special measures for women

7:14 am on 14 April 2009

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister will today introduce a paper to Cabinet, outling suggestions for special measures for women.

Dr Derek Sikua will be seeking cabinet's approval to move immediately to take certain initiatives to improve the status of women.

The Minister for women's affairs, Peter Tom, says the paper includes a suggestion for ten reserved seats in Parliament for women.

He says it is important for parliament to hear the voice of women.

"I don't really have the idea of the parliament yet, but that's why we want the information paper to go through either Cabinet or caucus. So that we try to test the government, whether the majority of members accept or not. That's why we want to go through that process."

Peter Tom says as soon as the Government caucus accepts if, he is confident the measures will be able to pass through Parliament.

The minister says his ministry has been working with women's groups, and the office of the Prime Minister on the paper.

In the last two elections, Solomon Islands voters elected no woman candidate.