By Ishmael Palipal
Women in Bougainville play a very vital role in the society and their participation in decision making is very important communities.
Mr Ben Kinah, one of Bougainville’s young community leaders, stated that the number of women participating in decision making in the Apiatei Village Assembly has recently increased. This is a good sign for participative equality at the village level.
Apiatei Village Assembly is one of the 8 village assemblies in the North Nasioi Community Government in the Kieta District of Central Bougainville. It is well-known for their well setup village government.
Mr Kinah noted that there has being gradual increase in number of women participating in decision-making at their village assembly level in a three year period between 2012 and 2015.
He pointed out that in April 2012 only three women participated, whereas recently the number of women has increased, even outnumbering men on some occasions.
“I was overwhelmed by the gradual increase of our VA women’s participation in decision making in our Apiatei community to date,” Mr Kinah said.
“15 women attended the recent meeting compared to 9 male chief leaders and I observed more young women are taking up leadership roles in their respective census villages of Apiatei.”
He stated that Apiatei Village Assembly is achieving one of its immediate objectives amidst everyday challenges, which is to increase the number of women at meetings through mobilization and organizing of the Apiatei Women’s Association structure.
The association has its foundations rooted in the smaller women’s groups operating out of the 7 census villages of Apiatei Village Assembly.