THE Social Democratic and Liberal Party's leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa, says the party's women's council has an important role to play ahead of the September general election.
Opening the party's women council forum at their Suva office yesterday, Ro Teimumu said the empowerment and advocacy training programs that had been planned by the council would develop the skills and knowledge base of women.
"It will help you to think about new things in new ways and to ask the right questions when new developments are being discussed or proposed in our communities during the lead-up to the election," she said.
She said the council and its members had an important and critical role to play which included:
* mobilising political support in the communities through the traditional and non traditional networks;
* mainstreaming gender perspectives in social, economic and development agenda of the party; and
* providing the necessary capacity building and support to women candidates to ensure a level playing field was maintained.
About 50 women from different parts of the country participated in the forum.