‘Parliament should be inclusive and the need for all gender and youth voices on different perspectives be heard’ says Speaker of Parliament.
Lord Fakafanua made the remarks when he met 30 young girls of the ‘She leads Fale Alea’ Monday evening, 3rd of August.
Parliament is hosting this weeklong program aims to empower and promote young girls' interest in leadership roles. It is also to inspire more young Tongan females to consider and pursue a political career. The initiative which began in 2018 is also to empower and expand young participants’ knowledge on Parliament’s functions, rules and protocol.
Lord Speaker told the young visitors, MPs may have different political views but one of Parliament’s essential roles is to enact legislation for Tonga’s development. He said it's crucial to pass laws which is applicable to everyone equally.
Lord Fakafanua also noted the need for Parliament to be inclusive and that all genders’ interests and concerns are heard.
The organization vision is to have a resilient and inclusive Parliament for all. Lord Speaker is adamant that Parliament should be inclusive. The Legislative Assembly is hosting the event as an opportunity for young girls to voice their different perspectives on national and local issues.
‘Alakihihifo Vailala, a former New Zealand Youth Parliament MP who migrate to Tonga was interested in the program to experience and expand her knowledge on the Tongan Parliament.
'It’s good to grow a connection with the Tongan Parliament and hopefully one day I become an MP in New Zealand,' said Tailulu violin and music teacher
Petunia Lilo, a USP student studying for a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Geography was also keen to apply to experience and know more about the legislation process.
On the other hand, Halamehi ‘Asitomani, a TYEE volunteer said she always listens to the Parliament’s debate. ‘I participate to experience the leadership role played by MPs which could help with my youth leadership.’
Participants are 30 young Tongan women and girls between the ages of 16-34.