Some of the women candidates to political offices sharing experiences with media, on the challenges of being a woman candidate or woman in political seat.

Running for a political office as a woman is challenging according many Palauan women candidates running for office this 2020 General Election.
In a recent workshop for the Palau Media Council all the women candidates for this 2020 election were invited to share their experiences as female candidates for political office.
Invited candidates included Senator Kikuo Skey Inabo for Senate, Risong Tarkong for Senate, Portia Franz for Delegate of Ngeremlengui state, Dilmai Siaske for Delegate of Ngarchelong state, Rebecca Sebalt Ngirmechat for Delegate of Ngchesar, Vicky Kanai for Delegate of Airai and lastly Senator Uduch Sengebau for the Office of the Vice President. Candidates Saiske, Ngirmechaet and Kanai were unable to join the training.
Former Vice President and Senator Sandra Pierantozzi was also invited to share her experiences as the first woman Senator and first woman Vice President.
The women spoke about high cost of running for office, lack of support from media and others for women in public office, family responsibilities and roles that make a lot of women chose not to run for political office.
They address the need to have women in congress because more voices help pass bills that affect women.
“Bills like maternity leave never get passed because men don’t know why it’s important for woman to take leave from work” said Senator Inabo
Senator Rukebai and Senator Uduch said that being a woman in congress they are not profiled a lot, no one does come to their defense when something is being said about them or they were misquoted.
They had hoped media would get their side of the story because it does cause them to be discouraged.
Along with woman not given a platform for their skills and talents, another reason women don’t run is because of the many responsibilities they have to their family and culture. This prevents them from extending their time to do politics.
Senator Uduch recounted that during her first term in congress the men did not listen to their appeal or approval but now they do take their word and knowledge and count on their judgement when making a decision.
“Women are very intimidated to run because politics and men in politics are very powerful and because you are a woman. You fear what will be said about you.” said Senator Rukebai Inabo.
Other challenge is to earn people’s trust, especially if the young female is running against an incumbent. Portia Franz running for delegate of Ngermlengui has lost three (3) elections but she has not given up and is working to earn her people’s trust.
It is believed that attitudes are changing and that people were looking more at women’s qualifications and skills.
“For example, “ Joel Toribiong said “No one has come to me and said Risong Tarkong is a woman running for senate. Instead I had someone say but she does not speak Palauan. People, he believed, don’t see gender as an issue.

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1 Comment

  1. Its called life and life choices — stop whining about your gender. You want to be a man get a sex change. Identity politics is poisonous and for islandtimes reported to write this shows immaturity and lack of critical thinking. If anything these women are example successful and powerful individuals. Q/A them about their platform and decision making would have been better

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