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ABOVE:YWPG pose for the group photo in the Parliament Chamber during the 2015 annual planning Workshop

The Young Women Parliamentary Group (YWPG) has successfully completed a one day annual planning Workshop at the National Parliament Paul Tovua Complex on Friday 20th February 2015.

The Young Women Parliamentary Group held their annual planning Workshop after the appointment of the new Executive members for 2015. The newly formed Five-Member Executives are, Chairlady Lysa Wini-Simeon, Secretary Alicia Hilly-Kenilorea, Assistant Secretary Kimberly Dhawarah, members Clarinda Molia and Kyera Varnel.

The Executive’s work is to overseer the Parliamentary Civic Education Department headed by Ms Marisa Pepa, related to the terms of reference of the group.

Last week’s workshop had enabled the group to discuss some of their achievements, successes and challenges. Informative presentations were also made on Parliamentary practises and Committees by the Committee Secretariat Director Mr Marson Lilopeza.
Participants have echoed that they can literally understand the work of the committees and the functions of parliament after the informative presentations.

Following the presentations, they divided into three groups and translated their main thematic areas of focus into action plans for this year.

The YWPG members highlighted some of the challenging issues and that will be their focus to work on for 2015. These issues will be mainly on Women in Decision making, Advocacy, Policy and Legislation.

The Executive under the leadership of newly appointed Chair-Lady Ms Lisa Wini sees fit as an opportunity for YWPG members to dialogue with leaders and stakeholders to ensure policies and legislations passed by Parliament are effectively implemented by the responsible authorities. The Executive will meet sometimes this week to incorporate the final version of the 2015 annual work plan.

The YWPG is an initiative of Parliament formed in 2011 with a mission to create space for young women to experience and participate in leadership.

Membership of the Group is open to all young people who are interested in leadership.


ABOVE:YWPG former chairlady, Grace Hilly presented the report to the Minister of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs Hon.Jimson Tanagada

The Young Women Parliamentary Group (YWPG) has presented the survey report to the Honorable Minister for women, youth, children and family affairs Jimson Tanagada on Wednesday 18th February 2015.

This has indicated another push for YWPG to advocate for women in leadership.
The report which contained information on voter behavior towards women candidates before and after the 2014 Solomon Islands National General Election was presented to Hon Minister Tanagada by the executive members of YWPG namely Grace Hilly, Lisa Wini, Kristina Sogavare, Lilly Chekana, Marisa Pepa and Alice Willy.
YWPG executive member Ms Lisa Wini briefed the Minister on some factors women candidates are facing following their recent survey conducted in central Honiara constituency.

Ms Wini reiterated on early researches that women did not perform well during elections because of culture, lack of access to money and the influence of powerful electoral vote brokers.
“A large proportion of the respondents saw that corruption, due to vote buying was a major setback for women candidates not getting the votes needed to enter into parliament”

The Minister Hon Jimson Tanagada thanked YWPG for taking the initiative and assured them that the report will be used as a tool to pave the way for women to participate in political leadership. He affirmed his ministry s support towards the group as well as the Permanent Secretary Mrs. Ethel Sigimanu.
Hon Jimson Tanagada also shared his experience during last year’s general election.
He said buying of votes and political propaganda was of course direct factors faced by both men and women candidates during elections.

“Educating voters about corruption practices is vital since we have literacy problem”
Minister Tangada has encouraged women candidates who want to run in future elections to have a good network and relationship with their constituents.
“I didn’t buy votes but because I had a good network with my constituents I won last year’s election, networking is one good strategy to enter parliament”
While throwing his ministry’s support on the survey report, Hon Tanagada has encouraged the YWPG (as advocators for women and young people) to do more in voter education awareness.

It’s understood that the next task is for the Ministry of Women, youths, children and family affairs to consider all recommendations made in the report.
According to Minister Hon JimsonTanagada, there is more to be done apart from the survey itself.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Douglas Ete when he launched the report in early January in Parliament said the survey provided opportunities for an improvement in YWPG capacity to develop and use policy research in their overall mission.
Karlyn Roughan compiled the report with the YWPG members and individuals, UNDP office in Honiara, and senior officers of the National Parliament.

The surveyors were trained by researchers from the Islands Knowledge Institution (IKI), Kellington Simeon and Paul Roughan.
Witnessing the presentation of the report on Wednesday was the Permanent secretary Mrs. Ethel Sigimanu and her staff of the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family affairs.


Deputy Prime Minister Douglas Ete, centre, flanked by Grace Hilly (YWPG Chairlady, and Karlyn Roughan, with a copy of the report.Deputy Prime Minister Hon.Douglas Ete, centre, flanked by Grace Hilly (YWPG Chairlady, and Karlyn Roughan, with a copy of the report.

The Young Women Parliamentary Group (YWPG) had its report on the “Voter Behavior towards Women Candidates in Solomon Islands,” launched on Friday the 30th of January 2015.

The report which was launched by Deputy Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for East Honiara, Hon. Douglas Ete contained information on voter behavior towards women candidates before and after the 2014 Solomon Islands National General Election.

At the launching, Hon Ete said this government supports the intention of women participating in political leadership.

He assured that the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) government will be working together with women to address their issues of concern.

Young women and men from all works of life under the umbrella of the Youth at Work were engaged by the YWPG at all stages of the project, from designing it, executing, analysis and reporting.


Speaker Receiving Baelelea Bible

A New Testament Bible translated in Baelelea dialect was launched at the National Parliament Office today (Wednesday 28th January 2015).

Baelelea is situated at the Northern Region of Malaita Province.

Director of Solomon Islands Translation Advisory Group (SITAG), Mr. Timothy Matzke at the launching said the completion of the Bible was made possible through the tireless commitment of Baelelea people and organizations.

Mr. Matzke shared the history of how this new translated version came about and have acknowledged the following individuals for tireless efforts.

Pastor Eden Sanga, Pastor David Mike, James Onai, Jimmy Lufuota and Stanslao Talo who were members of members of the Baelelea Translation review committee as well as support from other indigenous Baelelea people and churches in the United States of America.

The Baelelea translated New Testament which is now at display at the National Parliament House foyer, took 3 years to complete.


Parliament has passed a resolution to authorize the issue of monies from the consolidated fund until the coming into operation of the Appropriation Act 2015.

The Honorable Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare has moved this motion on Thursday the 19th of December 2014 according to Section 103(1) of the Constitution.

Section 103 (1) of the Constitution stipulates,

“That the National Parliament of Solomon Islands hereby resolves to empower the Honorable Minister for Finance to authorize the issue of monies from the Consolidated Fund for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on public services at a level not exceeding the level of these services in the previous financial year, until the expiration of four months from the beginning of the financial year 2015, or the coming into operation of the Appropriation Act 2015, whichever is the earlier.”

According to Standing Order 26 (1), a notice must be given three clear days before a motion is moved.

However, Speaker of the National Parliament, Sir Ajilon Jasper Nasiu had explained that on grounds of public urgency, he has given prior permission to the Hon. Prime Minister to move his motion.

This resolution is to enable salaries and services to flow unimpeded from 1st of January 2015. When the 2015 appropriation Bill is presented to Parliament, in early 2015 any expenditure incurred to the provisions of section 103 (1) of the constitution will be included in the annual appropriation for each head.


LEFT:Mr Ajilon Jasper Nasiu(Speaker)RIGHT:Hon. John M Fugui(Deputy Speaker)

The National Parliament of Solomon Islands has elected in a new Speaker

Mr Ajilon Jasper Nasiu who is a former Provincial Premier for Rennell and Bellona Province was elected by the 50 Members of Parliament shortly after taking their Oath of Allegiance in Parliament Wednesday morning.
Mr Nasiu won with a majority of four votes over his rival and former clerk to Parliament Ms Taeasi Sanga.
Former Speaker of Parliament Sir Allan Kemakeza who presides over the election announced Nasiu’s victory after the election.
“Honourable Members it is an honour to announce that the candidate duly elected by members of parliament as the Speaker for the National Parliament of Solomon Islands is Mr Ajilon Jasper Nasiu, who polls 27 votes and Taeasi Sanga polls 23 votes, a majority of four votes.”
Mr Nasiu is the 6th Speaker of Parliament since Solomon Islands gained independence in 1978. He was nominated by the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Douglas Ete.
Meanwhile, the new Deputy Speaker of Parliament is Hon. John Moffat Fugui Member of Parliament for Central Honiara.
Hon. Fugui polled a total of 29 votes against Hon. David Tome, Member of Parliament for Baegu Asifola who polled only 21votes.


The 10th Parliament will commence its first sitting on Wednesday 17th December 2014.

His Excellency, the Governor General, Sir Frank Kabui, has already signed the proclamation of the sitting date in accordance with section 72 (1) of the Constitution.

This first sitting is decisive as members of the 10th Parliament will take their Oaths and elect their Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively.

By virtue of section 64 (2) (c) (ii) of the Constitution, read with the proviso of section 65, the incumbent Speaker holds office until the next Speaker is elected, If the incumbent Speaker is not available, then the Deputy Speaker will preside over the election of the Speaker. The Speaker elect will then preside over the election of the Deputy Speaker.

Meanwhile nominations for the Speaker opened on Sunday 14th December and closes on Tuesday 16th December 2014.

It is understood that the current Clerk to Parliament, Ms Taeasi Sanga is highly likely to be a candidate for the Speaker’s post. Ms Sanga has been advocated for and described by the general public in the mainstream and social media as a potential candidate for the Speaker’s position.

Ms Sanga told the Solomon Star’s weekend magazine that she’s ready to take up the Speaker’s post if that’s what the people want.

The Speaker’s post has been occupied by male Speakers since independence in 1978.


ABOVE:Governor General Frank Kabui announces Manasseh Sogavare's appointment as PM

Honourable Manasseh Sogavare has been declared as Solomon Islands 12th Prime Minister.

The Governor General’s announcement of Sogavare’s victory was greeted with cheering from the crowd outside parliament’s precinct and vehicle horns were heard in the streets as the news was broadcasted live over SIBC.

All 50 members of Parliament were present with just only one round of voting in the election by secret ballot with Hon Sogavare polling 31 votes over Hon. Jeremiah Manele who secured 19 votes.

In his victory speech, the Prime Minister elect, Manasseh Sogavare, said he was humbled to be given the mandate to lead the country for the third time. He thanked the people of Solomon Islands for their prayers and support.

“I commend my victory and Government into the hands of the Almighty God”
Hon. Sogavare saluted his rival and MP for Hograno/Kia/, Havulei, Hon. Jeremiah Manele, for the courage he has shown as a first time parliamentarian.
Prime Minister Sogavare also thanked his coalition members of United Democratic Party (UDP) and Kandere Party for the trust and confidence they have entrusted in him.
“My Government’s vision is political reforming and change”

He emphasised more on working together with international donors and including the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) to build a stronger Solomon Islands.

"And I like to say here that my new government's vision for change isn't just political rhetoric. All of us we know of the need for redirection and reforms, just must embrace these themes . We will stress this point when we talk with all our stakeholders including our international donor community who are in the country and who have helped us so much."

Hon. Sogavare further explained that his first task is to amalgamate party policies in his coalition and to pass a mini budget for government spending as it ends on 31st December.

Prime Minister Sogavare is expected to announce his Deputy and members of his Cabinet soon


A one week Training for Hansard staff of the National Parliament was successfully concluded last week.

The training was coordinated by two New Zealand Parliament Staff, Lawrence Patchett and John Greenless at the Paul Tovua Complex.

The training which was described as timely was part of the Hansard Departments 2014 Department work plan (DAWP). To develop and up skill Hansard staff and to review Hansard’s editing manuals.

This included upgrading and development of an in-house dictionary and reference manuals where Hansard officers can use as a guide in producing daily parliamentary reports.

One issue that was highlighted during the training is the issue of producing Hansard in a timely manner, and ways to enable stakeholders to have access to Hansard information through available mediums such as the Parliamentary official website.

Currently the Hansard department has recruited 5 new officers, therefore, this training will equipped them in developing relevant technical skills and knowledge that is required to effectively discharge their responsibilities.

During the course of the training Lawrence Patchett and John Greenless highlighted what New Zealand Hansard do in practice. They emphasized on developing an in house Dictionary and referencing manual that will enable the accurate and consistent use of parliamentary references.

Discussions were also based on the technicality of translation and other issues Hansard staff faced in Reporting and Editing of Hansard scripts; ways to minimize the challenges encountered and the implications National Parliament might face in the process of dissemination of Information to the public and stakeholders.

During the training the two experts also raised the need to have on-going external mentoring between the two Parliaments in order to continue to review and develop the current resources.

This is to cater for the continuous changes in information received and disseminated by Parliaments and to meet the acceptable standard of Hansarding that Parliaments in Developed nations like New Zealand and Australia have.

It is anticipated that future training programs which involved external mentoring between New Zealand Parliament, Solomon Islands Parliament and other Parliaments in the Parliament twinning Program will continue to safeguard implications that may relate to vocabulary and linguistic abuse experienced by other parliament.


ABOVE:Some of the Members of the Young Women's Parliamentary Group pose for a Photo at the SIPPA Office

The Young Women’s Parliamentary Group (YWPG) on Tuesday 16th September underwent a group Pap smear test at the Solomon Islands Planned Parenthood (SIPPA).

This was part of their campaign against cervical cancer. The theme for this campaign is ‘Fight Like a Girl’. The young women took the step to do the test and decided to go public about it.

Sexually related diseases are usually frowned upon and are not something that is openly discussed. Women find it embarrassing and are ashamed to come forward to take the test. The group did this public awareness so that other women can also come forward.
Cervical cancer is the highest killer cancer among Solomon Islands women, and this can be prevented if women do the simple Pap smear test early. Solomon Islands also have a very high youth population who are sexually active and the high risk of cervical cancer is inevitable.

For the Young Women’s Parliamentary Group members, some of them are doing this for the first time and it is quite a challenge as well as one of them commented.
“I was not mentally ready for the test, it was awkward and embarrassing and excruciating all at once, but it only takes less than five minutes and when its done, you have the assurance that you are being an ambassador to advocate young women like myself to be aware of the fatality of Cervical Cancer. I did it, and so can you”.
According to a nurse working at the SIPPA clinic, results of the tests should be made available for the women around November or December 2014. The nurse said, getting results after two or three months is one Challenge SIPPA and even the National Referral hospital have always faced.

On that note YWPG Advisor Ms Marisa Pepa said they are hopeful to work with the new government thru the Ministry of Health to see the process of results is done quickly as lives are at stake.
“So while we are still healthy we must go and get tested and don’t wait till it’s too late”

Ms Marisa Pepa further explained that they will be conducting another group test sometime next month and she urges all the young women out there to get tested as well.
She also thanked the Solomon Island Planned Parenthood for making it possible for the group and also for continuing the service to all the women of this country. The Group will continue its campaign and is looking forward to working with the new government in getting the cervical cancer vaccine introduced into our health program.

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