The National,Monday16 January 2012
By YVONNE HAIP
WOMEN in the Highlands have said it is time the 22 reserved seats for women are created in Parliament and they want their MPs to support the bid.
They challenged their MPs to vote to have the Equality and Participation Bill passed to empower women to have a greater say in the development processes.
Chimbu Women in Politics president Cecilia Dre Kimagl, who was speaking on behalf of the regional council of women, women in politics branches, and all women groups, said women were tired of being spectators.
“Please pass the Bill, we want to have a voice in parliament and participate in the changes,” she said.
Kimagl said the reserved seats were the way out of many issues affecting women and children living
at the lowest level of society.
She said it was not that women were trying to compete with men, but they wanted to work hand in hand with their male counterparts and prove that women were quality leaders.
Kimagl said there were so many issues affecting women that were going unnoticed and women were fighting to have a place in parliament so that these issues could be addressed.
“While men talk about
the big things and misuse millions of kina belonging to the suffering people,
we want to be the slave of these people suffering,” she said.
Kimagl said the fight women like her were waging was for the benefit of the future generation and to allow development to take a bottom-up approach.
She said the issues of poverty, and other low indicators needed women who came from the “roots” of society to address.
She said developing the nation was more than building bridges, roads, schools, funding health centres and allocating funds.
“It is about looking into the needs of the people in the communities and proving the correct foundation for development to take place,” she said.
Kimagl said those going against the idea of creating the reserved seats were too narrow minded to realise the development needs the country was facing and they had to give women a chance to prove themselves.