The National, Friday August 2nd, 2013
By PETER ESOP WARI
TWO women who took the posts of assistant returning officers (ARO) during the local level government elections are happy with their new roles.
Mary Bamu, from upper Mendi, is the Mendi Urban LLG ARO while Pauline Maka is ARO for the Imbonggu LLG.
Maka said: “It is really challenging, doing a job previously held by men. Imagine thousands of people from the LLG wards hoping to see a man as the ARO but seeing a woman there.”
She said she was happy to face the challenges and did not succumb to temptation from candidates and their supporters to bend the rules.
She was nearly punched and exchanged heated arguments with supporters and candidates but she never gave up and stood up to them.
Maka said it was a big step forward for women in Southern Highlands.
“In the past, women were not allowed to talk in public and were regarded as of low status,” she said.
She said this attitude was out-dated and should be left in the past because women had opened their eyes and wanted to be given equal opportunities as men.
She urged men to work with women, share ideas and allow them equal opportunities.
Maka said this would be good for individuals, families, the district, province and the nation.
Two women who have won the councillor seat in the province have been applauded by many mothers in the province, saying this brought joy to them.
Glenda Waspen, a housewife and mother of three children, won the Nipa station council ward, while Marlin Morris won the Sumia ward 1 council seat in the lower Mendi LLG.
A mother from Mendi praised the two women and thanked their husbands for their understanding and respect.