Scoop Audio: Sarah Dyer on Women in Parliament in the Solomon Islands
Interview by Yasmine Ryan
Image by Jason Dorday
From Assignment in Honiara
Scoop Audio: Former President of the Solomon Island’s National Women’s Council and a well-known public figure, Sarah Dyer contested
the West Honiara seat in the election held three weeks ago. Although 26 women stood for Parliament in this election, not
one was successful. Dyer was one of the closest, coming second out of nine candidates.
In this interview, she discusses why voters are so reluctant to elect women to Parliament. Are quotas the key to getting
women in? Through the National Women’s Council, Dyer is involved in efforts to education the public about the political
process. Dyer also believes that the election was not as ‘Free and Fair’ as it was hailed. While on the surface the
election ran smoothly, she describes the vote buying that went on behind the scenes and several irregularities. In the
Solomons, she says, the eve of an election is sometimes known as the ‘Devil’s Night’.