BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home    March news

Also below:
  • Mar 17 TP: Elimination Of 30% In Constituent Assembly. Women Protest. UNTAET Rejects
  • Mar 17 TP: Cipriana: We defend at the national level


  • "We have spoken many times on women’s demand for a 30 % quota and do not want to say more. Except that, Timorese can emulate the example set by REDE (East Timor Women Network) yesterday at UNTAET headquarters. We welcome the day when the actions of interest groups or political groups are based on dialogue, debate and discussion. ... REDE has shown the correct political path for our country.  We hope that future political actions for democracy in our country will take into account this dynamism. This is the democratic model that needs to be created in our country." Timor Post Editorial

    tetun and bahasa headlines and editorial 17 March 2001

    The Dynamic Of ‘Quota Politic’

    Timor Post Editorial

    At the end of this week, we are still speaking of the UN quota for women in East Timor to be successful in politics. We observe the positive political phenomenon to create a dynamics of dialogue and discussion in the interest of democracy and the law. This phenomenon must be promoted now before it is too late.  People should be able to come forward and raise arguments without resorting to physical actions, destruction and violence.

    We have spoken many times on women’s demand for a 30 % quota and do not want to say more. Except that, Timorese can emulate the example set by REDE (East Timor Women Network) yesterday at UNTAET headquarters. We welcome the day when the actions of interest groups or political groups are based on dialogue, debate and discussion.

    We, the Timorese people, are still traumatized by physical violence such as those of late, even though it is better that they occurred now than later.  Nevertheless we cannot condone them. Thus, REDE has shown the correct political path for our country.  We hope that future political actions for democracy in our country will take into account this dynamism. This is the democratic model that needs to be created in our country.
     

    Elimination Of 30% In Constituent Assembly. Women Protest. UNTAET Rejects (TP/17/3/01)

    Following the decision of the NC to eliminate section 38 of the Constituent Assembly Election Regulation of East Timor, tens of women of East Timor demonstrated in UNTAET on Friday (16/3) demanding that the Transitional Administrator, Dr. Sergio de Mellor, not to promulgate the law.  In spite of this, the Transitional Administrator went ahead and promulgated the law as the law was considered to have gone through a mature democratic process.

    The women who were coordinated under REDE - an umbrella organization - began sitting in the UNTAET offices at 8.00 a.m. They gave speeches.  Some banners read: Who says women are not capable; There is no democracy when there is no respect; You know we are capable; National Council is not representative, dissolve it.
     

    Cipriana: We defend at the national level (TP/17/3/01)

    Ciprianan Perreira, NC representative of Fretilin, said to TP on Friday (16/3) that members of the NC will not defend a group or an interest. It will defend at the national level the rights of man, women, children, leaders, aged, wise, less wise and even the insane.  She said activist groups defending only women’s rights dictate their ideas. “If there are groups that fight only for their interest, this is not democracy.  Although I have to defend REDE’s position in women’s interest, upon re-analysis, I think this is not democracy.
    Why do we reject the quota?  I see the 30% in the regulation as discriminating small parties.  I am Fretilin’s representative to REDE. We are very lucky.  But we want all parties to participate in the general election.  If a party does not have 30% women candidate, it is not free to participate in this general election.  Thus, the 30% is discriminatory and negative. To put women candidate just to get financial support is to hold women in contempt.  Such a bait is contempt for women.

    As to fears that if there were no 30%  quota, political parties would not involve women?  I feel we should be optimistic.  Before we had the Portuguese and the Indonesian. Now we are entering the phase of liberation, where men and women must all participate. ¡K parties must recruit male and female candidates.  Those who understand democracy will always give opportunities to women.  Therefore I am optimist that although we did not put the 30% in the regulation, there will be women in the Constituent Assembly, said   Ciprianan said.


    Women and the upcoming election:

    NOTE: Mar 20 Dear BACK DOOR, The petition [for women's quotas] is over, the battle lost! for now ... Best wishes, Catherine Scott, Catholic Institute for International Relations

    Feb 8 CIIR: Women's Representation to ETimor's Constituent Assembly Petition
    "East Timorese women have been politically marginalised for long enough.  They have made it clear that they want to have a much stronger voice in the new East Timor. ... CIIR calls upon individuals, NGOs, solidarity groups and East Timor networks everywhere to add your support to REDE's concerns and to lobby the United Nations in New York, your governments, and UNTAET to take into account the legitimate aspirations of East Timorese women." Catholic Institute for International Relations, CIIR

    Feb 24 CIIR: Update on Women's Quotas Campaign  Update
    "The UN Electoral Assistance Division in New York refuses to set what they regard as a precedent for UN supervised elections in the future by allowing women's quotas to be a feature of the forthcoming election in East Timor, and are threatening to pull out of supervising the elections if the quotas are pursued." Catherine Scott, Catholic Institute for International Relations

    Mar 1 ETAN/US: Letter on women and upcoming election  Letter
    "Although they have made many contributions to their society through the independence movement, literacy campaigns, and other community service efforts, East Timorese women remain one of the most marginalized segments of the population. ... We hope that UNTAET will, at the behest of the East Timorese society it serves and in keeping with the United Nations’ commitment to women’s empowerment worldwide, rule in favor of a requirement for at least 30 percent women candidates in the upcoming elections in East Timor." Charles Scheiner, National Coordinator, East Timor Action Network

    Mar 16 LUSA: National Council Members Explain Rejection of Quotas for Women  News
    "Members of East Timor’s National Council transition legislature justified Friday their rejection of quotas for women candidates on party election lists. ... Simultaneous to the press conference, a group of several dozen protesters from East Timor’s most prominent women’s rights organizations demonstrated in front of the Government Palace in Dili." JBC

    Mar 17 TP: The Dynamic Of ‘Quota Politic’  Editorial from ETimor
    "We have spoken many times on women’s demand for a 30 % quota and do not want to say more. Except that, Timorese can emulate the example set by REDE (East Timor Women Network) yesterday at UNTAET headquarters. We welcome the day when the actions of interest groups or political groups are based on dialogue, debate and discussion. ... REDE has shown the correct political path for our country.  We hope that future political actions for democracy in our country will take into account this dynamism. This is the democratic model that needs to be created in our country." Timor Post Editorial

    Mar 20 Dear BACK DOOR, The petition [for women's quotas] is over, the battle lost! for now ... Best wishes, Catherine Scott, Catholic Institute for International Relations


    BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home    March news
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