BY ALEX DADAMU
SAMANTHA Tahiseu, a Form 5 Student of Visale Community High School speaking on behalf of Guadalcanal children, youths, and women, on the 36th anniversary of Guadalcanal Province’s 2nd Appointed Day has raised serious concerns – demanding Leaders to recognized the children, youths and women of Guadalcanal’s request for recognition of their cultural rights and inclusion in the structures of government.
Miss Tahiseu demands equal opportunity to participate in decision-making on issues of lands and resources stating that for too long, youths and women have been ignored by leaders at the community, provincial and national levels when it comes to important decision-making.
“I am also here to raise the concerns of Guadalcanal children and youths. As a young woman from a matrilineal society, I do not need to remind you that in most of Guadalcanal, the rights of the clan and future generations are passed on through women.
“We, the children, youths, and women of Guadalcanal request for recognition of our cultural rights and our inclusion in the structures of government.
“We demand equal opportunity to participate in decision-making on issues of our land and resources. For too long, we have been ignored by leaders at the community, provincial and national levels when it comes to important decision-making.
“What are the provincial and national government’s plans for us?” Miss Tahiseu questioned.
She further pleas to Leaders present at the occasion which includes Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, Distinguished guests, Guadalcanal Leaders to think about children, youth and women also as resource owners on Guadalcanal.
“I say this because, in many instances, development activities that take place in our customary land do not benefit women, youths, and children. Nor were we asked for our views on these sorts of development activities on our land. I am sure this is not only an issue at the community level but also at provincial and national levels.
“Remember that almost half of our population are women. What are the Guadalcanal Province and National Government’s plans on equal representation of women in political leadership?
“Democracy also calls for fair play and equal opportunity for all members of society. What changes have been made to address this inequality in the past 36 years? What happened to earlier discussions on equal representation of women in political leadership?” Miss Tahiseu poses.
In the meantime, the Guadalcanal Youth and Women representative, Samantha Tahiseu said she hopes to see change and positive development for the province under the current provincial leadership.
“It is our sincere hope that our eight (8) national leaders in Parliament realize this and collaborate with the current provincial government to foster and advance the vision for a vibrant and prosperous province and people.” She expressed.