BRIDGE Gender & Elections Training Impacts YWPG

3 September 2012

The Young Women’s Parliamentary Group further their knowledge on Gender issues affecting women securing leadership roles after undertaking the three day Bridge Gender and Elections Training provided by UN Women Gender Equality and Political Governance program which ended on Wednesday the 22nd August 2012.
The training which focused on gender and elections looked at how electoral issues affect women’s representation not only in Parliament but also in other sectors.
During the workshop, the young women discussed and analyzed and were able to identify some of the barriers, biases with regard to gender and elections. They also discussed and formulated actions they think they will be able to take in, in advocating for gender in elections along with the Electoral Commission Office.

Audrey Manu, National Program Coordinator – on Gender Equality and Political Governance Program of the UN Women elaborated on the activities that the young women’s group were involved in during the three days workshop and said:
“We look at some of the barriers women face in terms of elections such as registration, why women have not participated effectively when it comes to elections and what were some of the barriers in terms of the structure in place which make it so difficult for women to come up. Those were the kind of issues we looked at during the three days training workshop.”
She further explained that on the final day of the workshop these young women looked at what kind of strategies and policies they would work on to address the problems they’ve identified.
Audrey said she believed that the Young Women’s Parliamentary Group will take the initiative forward and actually formulate plans to work on in the future.
Chairlady of YWPG, Natalina Hong also spoke highly of the workshop and explained why it is so relevant to the Group.
She said, “YWPG when it first started it consisted mainly of very young women, thus, it is important that in order for the group to know the challenges that women face in terms of elections and to begin strategizing, they need to be equipped with such knowledge and understanding.”

“So we see this training as one way of opening our minds to gender issues and because this group is strategically in place which is in Parliament, there are higher expectations for the group to tackle some of the very difficult questions and difficult situations for women representation in Parliament. These are really complex issues, so we need to be well versed with where we can strategize and identify obstacles, look at laws and see where we can strategically use to address these issues.”
Natalina concluded by saying that she believed members of the YWPG have built their confidence in approaching issues of Gender and elections by putting on these gender lenses to be able to see where women are affected more and where they can take charge and lead.

The Young Women’s Parliamentary Group is a group established under the auspices of the Speaker of Parliament and is consisted of young women from all walks of life.
YWPG is a newly established group designed to be an agent for positive change by helping to bring key issues for Solomon Islands women directly to the floor of Parliament for debate and remedial action.

The Young Women’s Parliamentary Group was established as a initiative of the Speaker of National Parliament of Solomon Islands, Sir Allan Kemakeza as an attempt to build young women to leadership roles in any sectors.
The group’s mission is to: Recognise, allow and build emerging young leaders to reach their full potentials to influence positively in their communities and networking young women with current leaders to enhance and develop young women in national leadership.
Its vision: To create space for young women to experience and participate in leadership.




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