13 Aug 2013

Solomons business leader calls for women to back women politicians

5:48 pm on 13 August 2013

The owner of a timber business in the Solomon Islands capital Honiara is calling on women to back other women running for parliament as the country gears up for next year's election.

Nanette Tutua says she is the only woman in the country running her own timber company, but the number of women running their own businesses is steadily growing.

NANETTE TUTUA: She says there are more than enough women to vote women into parliament, which she says would be good for the country.

ANNELL HUSBAND: Why do you think women don't vote for women? Because the men give them money, and so they vote for the men.

NANETTE TUTUA: But why can't they just take the money and then vote for the women?

ANNELL HUSBAND: Oh. It's loyalty to the person who gives you the money. That person is meeting their needs, so something like that. Even $100 to them is a lot of money. That's what you have to understand about that culture. $100 is a lot of money. You give it to this person, he'll definitely vote for you, and things like that. They're like, 'Oh, he gave me the money. I better vote for him'. Or the men come and say, 'Wife, wife. Sis, sis. Come vote for this guy. He's giving us this. Here, here. $100 for you. He gave it to us'. So the women vote for that guy. So, you know...

ANNELL HUSBAND: How do you stop that?

NANETTE TUTUA: We don't know how to stop it. I don't have the answers. But I think if we women support women, we will go into parliament, 'cause there's more women than men in this country. So if women truly support women we will be able to get women in parliament.

ANNELL HUSBAND: So even though it won't eliminate corruption, do you think that...?

NANETTE TUTUA: It won't eliminate corruption, but women are not as corrupt as men. Women are better in many ways than men. It's not to say men aren't good, but women can make good decisions, can make clarified decisions. Women think things over. We think in a web, whereas men just think, 'This is right. That's it. Go ahead with it'. Women will articulate, consider the pros and cons, and then come to a decision and things like that. So, as women, we have our advantages over men, and unless men can realise and support us we will be able to be successful both in the government and in all walks of life.

ANNELL HUSBAND:I guess the more women you get involved in business and running their own businesses successfully, that's going to make a change, isn't it?

NANETTE TUTUA: Yes. If men can realise the opportunities that women can give to them they will also benefit when women are successful. So if they support the women, they themselves will be successful.