Voter turnout for women was comparable to that for men in the last national general elections (NGE) held in 2014. This is according to a survey conducted on behalf of the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) in 2015.
However, although 93% of the women surveyed reported that they registered to vote with a further 88% saying that they actually voted, women were slightly more likely to say that they didn’t feel free to vote for the candidate of their own choosing though the difference was not statistically significant.
In terms of candidates for the elections, women are drastically underrepresented in Solomon Islands politics. In 2014 women made up just 5.8% of candidates contesting the National general Election, attracted 5.5% of the vote and won just one seat in the Parliament. While the reasons that so few voters choose female candidates are complex, the SIEC has committed to continuing efforts to level the playing field for female candidates.
Benefits of Voting
Solomon Islands women generally play a bigger role in the wellbeing of their household as a whole. As such, voting for the right candidate is important for women as it will have an impact on how women and their households can be supported by the right candidate.