Village Women’s Committees are to officially register with the Ministry of Women and Community Development, in an attempt to organise the disarray over different groups claiming to represent the village.
The Minister of Women, Tuitama Dr. Talalelei Tuitama, laid the ground rules to follow in a special meeting of Government village representatives or ‘sui tamaita’i’ in the case of women.
«The problem is on several occassions women groups have ended up at the Ministry claiming they are the rightful village women representatives and at time squabbling among themselves,» Tuitama spoke sternly.
The official registration is intended to be followed by every village women’s committees with conditions to be met like membership should be at a minimum of 30.
If the number is not met the committee will not be registered and they cannot appoint a ‘sui tama’ita’i’ because the women’s committee makes the nomination not the chiefs and orators of the vilage.
«There is so much confusion in the villages it shows the women in the committee are not clear of what is what, some villages have women’s general committees others have womens health committees.
«The Ministry is also confused about which is which, so the decision is made that there will be only one village women’s committee to be known as the ‘Komiti a Tina.’
Tuitama said this committee will encompass all the duties the women are assigned in general activities, health, farming or business.
The Government woman representative or ‘sui tama’ita’i’ is selected from this committee who is then endorsed by the authority of chiefs and orators.
The approved nomination is then channelled through the Ministry of Women to Cabinet for the final approval.
« We have noticed that almost every month groups of women will call into the Ministry and claim to represent the women’s committee in the village, yet we find out later that they represent only a group of women and not all in the village.
« We’re aware also of another women’s group who represent those who are married into the village. »
Tuitama placed heavy emphasis on the women present at the meeting that they should be very mindful that they represent the strength of the village.