DILI, 27 september 2021 (TATOLI)-The State Secretariat for Equality and Inclusion (SSII) and stakeholders has commenced the discussion for plans to support women’s participation in the four elections that will soon take place in Timor-Leste.
Secretary to the Minister of SEII, Maria José da Fonseca Monteiro de Jesus said this discussion is conducted to reaffirm the plan on supporting women in the 2022 presidential election, legislation for chief of village election, and municipal level elections which will be held soon.
“The teams are ready and this workshop is to prepare plans at the national, municipality level including RAEOA to participate in the refer election. The workshop offers the opportunity to all partners to discuss woman involvement in elections,” Maria Monteiro informed the media at the Delta Nova Hall, today.
She added that it was no official statement from women to run for president, except Mrs. Armanda Berta from the KHUNTO political Party, however it is also possible for many other high potential women to have participated.
According to Ms. Monteiro, the patriarchal system in Timor-Leste is the biggest obstacle for women because of the lack of support from the public and the media to provide space for women to express their thoughts and existing capacities.
“The team is working on afforded, however it requires more supports from the media, we need your supports, and only you can guarantee that by carrying out equal coverage in the election period, not only for men, but also from you LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual/Aromantic/Agent), as well as those with disabilities, we must work together,” she said.
Director of the CAUCUS Foundation “Feto iha Politika”, Terezinha Maria Noronha Cardoso revealed that one of the factors that hindered women from running for important positions was financial preparation and get married early.
Teresina is requested to the political parties to nominate women to be the candidate for the presidential election, thus it is needed financial support and required enough votes.
“There are many women that participating in politics and they have been qualified. Women always have the financial problem as an obstacle for women to compete for any high position. therefore we need a Political Party that elects women,” She explained.
SSII data reports, 16% of woman have participated in the Government, 40% refer, 5% refers to a woman with the position as village heads, this figure indicates the country is yet to achieve 2011-2030 strategic plan.
Partners who actively participated in the workshop on Strengthening Women’s Participation in Elections consisted of, GMPTL (Grupo Mulheres Parlamentar Timor-Leste), MOFE Timor-Leste (Movimento Feto Foinsa’e), Plan International, Patria, and also CAUCUS.
Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá
Editor: Nelia Borges Rosario