The National, Thursday July 18th, 2013
By SHIRLYN BELDEN
THE people of Alotau, Milne Bay, have recognised women as vital leaders and partners by electing several of them into their local government administration.
This was evident on Tuesday when electoral officials in Alotau declared six women councillors in the Hoohoo local level government of Alotau district and one each for Dobu and Duau LLGs in Esa’ala district.
A one-time male contestant and Alotau resident Robin Waiabu said the results were extremely different from the previous LLG elections where men dominated.
He said many were pleased and excited to see the election of the women and looked forward to working with them in implementing government policies and plans at the district level.
The results showed the six women elected councillors of Rabe, Watunou, Wamawamama, Huhuna, Wago-Hoohoo, Sirisiri wards in Alotau and Basima and Bunama wards in Esa’ala.
Waiabu said in Alotau on Tuesday the people were expecting more women to be declared in all the 16 LLGs.
He said many of the elected women had spoken highly of previous women leaders in the likes of Dame Josephine Abaijah and Nahau Rooney who had set the pace for women to take leadership roles.
“This is good and encouraging for our women population in the country.
“People are thinking seriously now and giving a chance for women to take the lead in managing people affairs,” Waiabu said.
“Women are naturally best managers and I think they can help transform the society.
“I can say the people here are thinking differently and in an innovative fashion where they take on the agenda of gender equality to support social development.”
According to reports, one woman has contested the Alotau mayor seat and the result for which will be declared on Saturday.