Apetaia Veiogo - Male Champion
Apetaia was the former Director of Finance at Suva City Council.
Is gender balance important?
Yes, gender balance is important because there is a need for the female perspective on issues of the family and residence. Women with merit must be part of management decision making.
Why should men and women both contribute to policy making?
Women and men participating ensure better judgments leading to better policies. More participation by both gender benefits any organization
Is it a challenge to have women in local governments?
There have been some occasions when women have merited a position but have not been given the opportunity. Unfortunately this still continues despite senior male managers supporting females, as outside forces begin to undermine management decisions. The Human resources department, in my view should be headed by a woman as they are able to communicate more effectively, are more receptive to change and more approachable. However, in the private sector, there are no gaps. Professionals are respected for their knowledge and expertise.
What are the benefits of having women in local government?
Women that have the educational background and experience would raise the capacity of Local government because women are by nature more specific and concerned with detail so standard of service and delivery is of high quality.
What initiatives could help get more women in local Government?
Traditionally men have been in leadership but times are changing and women must participate in Local Governance. In my view, special measures have to be taken to include women in decision making. A quota system ought to be legislated to ensure women are given the opportunity.
Local Government must also encourage equal employment opportunities to enable workers to have a career path with financial rewards.
Are women’s issues also men’s issue?
Yes, all issues are common to both men and women but priority is always given to men and this is probably because women are not at the decision making levels to highlight their concerns.
Do you think council services adequately address the needs of women and girls?
No, council has a broad-based approach that does not specifically address women’s issues. A lot more could be done to look at safety aspects and civic amenities.
Has the attitude toward women in Local Government changed?
Yes, attitudes have changed a little but more can be done. Local Government is somewhat structured like Central government so changes are slow, however more modern and contemporary approaches are practiced by younger male managers so changes are going to occur eventually.