Voter Survey Report by qza17959

VIEWS: 15 PAGES: 37

									WUTMI Voter Survey Report
          June 2007
            Table of Contents
Introduction……………………………………………….3
Background and Rationale………………………………....3
Survey Objectives…………………………………………4
Sample Selection and Methodology………………………..5
The Questionnaire…………………………………………8
Analysis……………………………………………………9
  Sample Demographics……………………………..9
  Overall Key Findings……………………………..11
  Key Findings by Content Area……………………12
  Key Findings by Question.………………………..13
  Key Findings by Community……………….……..28
Lessons Learned………………………………………….33
Conclusions and Recommendations……………………...35




                                               2
Introduction
The WUTMI Voter Survey was developed as part of WUTMI’s USAID-sponsored Gender
Equality in Leadership (GEL) Project. This project aims to educate Marshallese citizens on
appropriate and effective use of the electoral processes, while sensitizing voters to the
importance of women in leadership positions. The first stage of the project involved a
nationwide survey measuring voter knowledge, behavior and attitudes.


The success of this survey was dependent on the help and hard work of many individuals,
not all of whom are listed here. WUTMI would like to extend a special kommoltata to the
following organizations and people who played especially important roles in this stage of the
GEL project:

USAID, project funder                               Flomina Bollong, Ebeye Surveyor
Angeline Heine, Majuro Surveyor                     Totha Lomae, Ebeye Surveyor
Matylene Langdrik, Majuro/Mili Surveyor             Esteeann Mawilong, Ebeye Surveyor
Kia deBrum, Majuro Surveyor                         Johnson Hanchor, Wotje Surveyor
Hillia Langrine, Majuro Surveyor                    Lisen Lakjohn, Wotje Surveyor
Janet Nemra, Majuro Surveyor                        Shirolynn Lang, Ailuk Surveyor
Thomas Patrick, Jr., Majuro Surveyor                Arjita Bunglick, Ailuk Surveyor
Melina Capelle, Majuro Surveyor                     Daisy Ailk-Momotaro, Jaluit Surveyor
Janet Aikne, Majuro Surveyor                        Meritha Tiberke, Jaluit Suveyor
Lynn Witmar, Majuro Surveyor                        Kiop Leon, Arno Surveyor
Elty Lang, Ebeye Surveyor                           Rine Jelke, Wotho Surveyor
Valentina Lorenij, Ebeye Surveyor                   Estella Antipas, Wotho Surveyor
Anta James, Ebeye Surveyor                          Caleb McClennen, GIS Mapping
Lenkwatrik Abija, Ebeye Surveyor                    Patrick Lane, Statistics
Agnes Albert, Ebeye Surveyor




BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE
WUTMI launched the GEL project to address the gender inequality that currently exists in
elected leadership in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). Currently there is one
female senator, no female ministers, and there have been only a handful of female mayors in
the history of the Republic. Local councils have the strongest female representation, but it is
still below ideal levels. Lack of representation by women in leadership is stagnating genuine
democratization in the Marshall Islands.



                                                                                              3
                      Percent of Females in Local Govt Councils in 2003 elections

               25%
                                                          21%
               20%                                                                  19%

                       14%
               15%
                                              11%
               10%
                                                                      6%
                5%
                                   0%
                0%
                      Majuro    Kwajalein     Wotje       Jaluit     Arno           Ailuk


                                                                            Source: EPPSO


Being a matrilineal society, women are traditionally the means by which land is inherited and
managed, but many outside forces have begun to erode the land-based power of Marshallese
women. The import of male-dominated institutions such as Christianity, democracy and
capitalism have all contributed to a departure from traditional systems that protect and
empower women in a way that is unique to the Marshall Islands.


In 2004, a UNIFEM fact-finding mission to the RMI concluded that gender issues are not a
priority for the Marshallese government. That same year, the SPC Pacific Women’s Bureau
published a “Review of Institutional Support and Promotion of Gender Equality” which
also produced the same findings. WUTMI views female participation in political life as
crucial to improving the lives of Marshallese women and their families, and has thus adopted
this as one of its major areas of concern and action.


SURVEY OBJECTIVES
The purpose of the WUTMI Voter Survey was to gather baseline data regarding Marshallese
civic awareness and involvement, particularly in relation to gender issues. This is the first
study of its kind to be conducted in the Marshall Islands. The results of this survey provide
invaluable sex-disaggregated data regarding the state of political participation and civic
knowledge in the RMI, particularly with regard to attitudes toward women. The survey
results will inform WUTMIs own civic education and women in leadership activities, as well



                                                                                                4
as serve as an advocacy tool to promote efforts towards greater gender equality and
fulfillment of international commitments (specifically CEDAW1, the MDGs2 and the Beijing
and Pacific Platforms for Action, all of which call for government efforts to achieve gender-
balanced leadership) on the part of the RMI government.


SAMPLE SELECTION AND METHODOLOGY
The proposed survey sample covered ten atolls:
          Ailuk
          Alinglaplap
          Jaluit
          Kwajelein
          Likiep
          Majuro
          Maloelap
          Mili
          Wotho
          Wotje


These atolls were selected with the intention of surveying a cross-section of the population,
in terms of development, income, education, proximity to urban centers and access to
government services. Using the following crude development index created by the
Economic Policy, Planning and Statistics Office (EPPSO), two atolls from each section of
the index were selected in order to attain this cross-section.




1
    United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
2
    United Nations Millennium Development Goals


                                                                                                5
                                 Crude Development Index
                    Average Score
                    on High                  %Households
                    School                   with Access to
                    Entrance      Per Capita Improved                Relative
Atoll/Island        Exam          Income Sanitation            Sum   Ranking
                    Rank          Rank       Rank             Rank
Majuro              2             2          3                7      1
Kili                7             4          1                12     2
Enewetak            5             3          6                14     3
Kwajalein           14            1          2                17     4
Jaluit              8             5          12               25     5
Wotje               4             12         9                25     6
Likiep              1             6          19               26     7
Aur                 13            8          5                26     8
Mejit               12            11         4                27     9
Ebon                6             16         8                30     10
Alinglaplap         3             19         14               36     11
Arno                11            17         10               38     12
Utrik               15            7          18               40     13
Maloelap            18            9          13               40     14
Wotho               22            10         11               43     15
Namdrik             16            13         16               45     16
Ailuk               9             22         15               46     17
Ujae                21            21         7                49     18
Namu                10            20         21               51     19
Jabat               17            18         17               52     20
Mili                20            15         20               55     21
Lae                 19            14         22               55     22
Lib                 23            23         23               69     23
                                                                     Source: EPPSO
In the end, eight atolls were surveyed:
       Ailuk
       Arno
       Jaluit
       Kwajelein
       Majuro
       Mili
       Wotho
       Wotje




                                                                                6
Because of budget and time constraints, Alinglaplap and Maloelap were eliminated from the
sample selection, and Arno was substituted because of its convenient location to Majuro and
its position on the development index.


Using satellite maps when available and necessary, households were randomly selected by
computer. All residential structures in the survey area were identified, and individual
households were randomly selected by computer. In some areas maps were not available,
and therefore all households were selected to be surveyed (Wotho and Arno). The intention
of the sampling was to produce a 100% random sample. Because there were no maps
available for Nallu, Mili the surveyor covered as many households as possible, but the
sampling was not random. Surveyor error in reading maps also may have affected the
randomness of the sample, but assuming the error was also random, the effect should be
minimal.


The households were selected only as a means to identify random individuals and collect
household income. All resident eligible voters (any resident who would turn 18 by
November 19th, 2007) were surveyed individually. Surveyors made every effort to survey all
eligible voters in each household, but in some situations this was not possible (individual was
off-island, never home, drunk, etc.). Surveyors only surveyed residents, which was defined as
someone who sleeps in the building most of the time.


Sample size was dictated by time and budget constraints, with 20% as the target. Over-
sampling was done to account for the fact that some of the selected structures were not
houses, were vacant, or were no longer standing. For example, in surveyed areas of Majuro a
25% sample was selected to reach the target of 20% sample.


All surveying was conducted between December 2006 and March 2007. A total of 402
households were selected and 1,262 individual surveys were completed.




                                                                                             7
                                        Sample Selection
               Atoll        Villages         % Sample         # of HH        # of Surveys
                            Surveyed                          Selected       Completed
        Ailuk             Ailuk          23% (of            20               53
                                         atoll)
        Arno              Tinak,         100% (of           31               102
                          Kilange        each island)
        Jaluit            Jabwor, Jaluit 29% (of            35               74
                                         atoll)
        Kwajelein         Ebeye          8% (of             80               314
                                         island)
        Majuro            Jenrok,        20% (of each       167              531
                          Delap, Laura village)
        Mili              Mili, Nallu    26% (of            35               96
                                         atoll)
        Wotho             Wotho          100% (of           14               28
                                         island)
        Wotje             Wotje          25% (of            20               64
                                         island)
                                         Total:             402              1262

THE QUESTIONNAIRE
The survey questionnaire was developed by the GEL Project Coordinator and WUTMI
Executive Committee and Advisors, using the project mandate as a guide. A roundtable
discussion was held in November 2006 to review the questionnaire and survey work plan
with stakeholders. Questions covered the following areas:
                 Voter Practice: who is/is not participating in the electoral process and why,
                  sources of political information, how people choose a candidate, who
                  influences voters
                 Voter Knowledge: election knowledge, understanding of intended functions
                  of democracy
                 Voter Attitudes: sense of efficacy, sense of obligation to vote, faith in secret
                  ballot, attitudes towards female office holders, sense of accessibility of
                  government information, perception of power


The questionnaire also collected demographic data, such as sex, age, education level,
employment and household income. The questionnaires were designed to be delivered orally



                                                                                                     8
by the surveyors. In some cases (particularly in Ebeye, where time was a major constraint),
voters completed the survey on their own under the supervision of the trained surveyors.


ANALYSIS
The collected data was analyzed by sex, age, geographic location and education level. The
following charts depict the demographics of the individual voters surveyed.


Sample Demographics
                                   Geography of Sample




                                 Outer Islands
                                  (Ailuk, Wotho,
                                    Arno, Mili)
                                      22%

                             Jaluit/Wotje           Majuro/Ebeye
                                  11%                   67%




                                       Sex of Sample




                                    Women          Men
                                     56%           44%




                                                                                              9
              Education Level of Sample




            Post High School
               Study, 20%
                                Less than High
                                 School, 33%
         High School
        Graduate, 20%

                         Some High
                        School/GED,
                            32%




                Employment of Sample


        8%                                       Employed

                          28%
                                                 Unemployed

29%                                              Making Copra or
                                                 Handicrafts
                                                 Housewife


      11%               24%                      Student




                                                                   10
OVERALL KEY FINDINGS
     Differences among sexes are relatively small, but in general women are less active
      and informed than men
     Women answer “don’t know” much more frequently than men
     Women in all areas feel they have less access to information than men
     Biggest differences exist between geographic locations (Majuro/Ebeye vs.
      Jaluit/Wotje vs. Outer Islands)
     Young people are the least active, informed and gender-sensitive age group
     Outer Island voters are the most active, informed and gender-sensitive geographic
      group
     Respondents with less than high school education and respondents with post-high
      school education are the most active, informed and gender-sensitive education
      groups. This seem counterintuitive, but makes sense in light of the fact that outer
      island voters are the most active, informed and gender sensitive geographic group,
      but also have the lowest average education. (See chart below).


  Education by Geographic Location (HS=High School)
                          Less than HS       Some HS        HS Graduate        Post HS
      Majuro/Ebeye        22%                32%            26%                18%
      Jaluit/Wotje        68%                19%            5%                 12%
      Outer Islands       84%                14%            1%                 3%




                                                                                            11
KEY FINDINGS BY CONTENT AREA
Voter Behavior: Questions 3-9
      Almost all eligible respondents are registered to vote
      Voter turnout for the last election was high
      Radio is the #1 source of information among all voters surveyed
      Voters with more education more likely to be registered than those with less
       education
Sources of Influence: Questions 10-12
      Patterns are consistent across all demographics for each question
      Female voters are 4% more likely to be influenced by outside sources than male
      Majuro/Ebeye voters twice as likely to be influenced than voters living on outer
       islands or sub-centers
      Young voters most likely to be influenced by family, church and traditional leaders
       when voting
      Voters with some high school or high school diploma are more influenced than
       those with post-high school or less than high school education
Voter Attitudes: Questions 13-20, 27-32
      Almost all voters feel free to vote for any candidate
      Honesty is the most important quality in a candidate for most voters
      Majority of voters have confidence in secret ballot
      Support for women leaders decreases as position level rises
      Voters in the outer islands have the most confidence in women leaders
      Most respondents do not think that all Marshallese are treated equally
      Outer island voters have the strongest sense of voter and candidate responsibility
Voter Knowledge: Questions 21-26
      Men answer correctly approximately 4% more often than women
      Middle-aged group most informed age group
      Voters with post-high school education most informed education group

      Outer islands most informed geographic group




                                                                                             12
KEY FINDINGS BY QUESTION
Q3: Are you registered to vote?
      Most respondents are registered (93%)
      Same % for men and women
      More respondents registered on outer islands than Majuro/Ebeye and Jaluit/Wotje
      Older voters more likely to be registered than young voters
      Voters with post-high school education most likely to be registered

                                        % Registered to Vote

                       98%                                         97%
                       97%
                       96%
                       95%
                       94%
                       93%        92%             92%
                       92%
                       91%
                       90%
                       89%
                             Majuro/Ebeye      Wotje/Jaluit    Outer Islands



Q4: If no, why not?
      Most respondents who are not registered “don’t know how to register” (22%)
      No major differences among sex or age groups
      “Don’t know how to register” is most common on the outer islands


Q5: Did you go to register on your own, or did someone take you to register?
      Most respondents registered on their own (57%)
      More male voters register on their own than females
      Voters in sub-centers have highest % who registered on their own (84%)
      Majuro/Ebeye and younger respondents have highest percentage of voters taken to
       register
      Voters with post-high school education most likely to register on their own




                                                                                     13
                                   % went to register on their own


                 65%
                                        62%
                 60%

                 55%                                                     53%

                 50%

                 45%

                                        Men                             Women




Q6: Did you vote in the last election?
      80% of respondents surveyed voted in the last election
      Male respondents have 4% higher turnout than females
      Turnout highest on outer islands
      Young voters have lowest turnout
      Voters with some high school education have lowest turnout
      Voters with less than high school education have highest turnout

                                              2003 Voter Turnout

                   86%           84%
                   84%                                                           83%
                   82%                                            80%
                   80%
                   78%
                   76%                            74%
                   74%
                   72%
                   70%
                   68%
                             Less than HS       Some HS        HS Graduate      Post HS



                                              2003 Voter Turnout

                       86%                                                     85%

                       84%
                       82%                                 81%

                       80%
                                       78%
                       78%
                       76%
                       74%
                                 Majuro/Ebeye           Jaluit/Wotje     Outer Islands



                                                                                          14
Q7: If no, why not?
      Most respondents who didn’t vote were “uninterested”
      Highest “uninterested” responses came from outer islands
      “Unable to reach voting site” was the #2 reason respondents didn’t vote in the last
       election
      Outer island voters also most likely to be “unable to reach voting site”


Q8: Where do you get most of your information about government activities?
   Top 3 Answers:
   1. Radio (55%):
        69% of outer islander voters use radio
        Same % of male and female respondents use radio
        Older respondents more likely to use radio
   2. Talking with friends and family (18%):
        Female respondents slightly more likely to get info from friends and family than
          males
        Majuro/Ebeye voters rely on friends and family more than voters in the outer
          islands and sub-centers
        Middle-aged voters least likely to rely on friends and family for information
   3. Newspaper (13%):
        Male voters slightly more likely to use newspaper than females
        Only 5% of outer islanders use newspaper for information (compared to 15% in
          Majuro/Ebeye and Jaluit/Wotje)
        Middle-aged voters and respondents with more education most likely to use
          newspaper


Q9: Where do you get most of your information about candidates?
   Top 3 Answers:
   1. Radio (44%):
        Almost same % of for men and women
        Highest on outer islands (63%)
   2. Talking with Friends and Family (23%):


                                                                                         15
        Women slightly more like to get information from friends and family
        Majuro/Ebeye twice as likely to get information from friends and family
   3. Newspaper (11%):
        Similar use on Majuro/Ebeye and Jaluit/Wotje
        Lowest use on outer islands (3%)
        Same for men and women
        Older respondents and respondents with more education more likely to use
           newspaper


Q10) Does your family help you to make decisions about who to vote for?
      Female voters are more likely to be influenced by family than men
      Voters in Majuro/Ebeye most influenced by family
      Young respondents are most likely to be influenced by family
      Respondents with some high school or high school diploma most influenced by
       family


Q11: Does your church help you to make decisions about who to vote for?
      Women are more likely to be influenced by church than men
      Majuro/Ebeye voters most influenced by church
      Respondents with some high school or high school diploma most likely to be
       influenced by church


Q12) Do your traditional leaders help you to make decisions about who to vote for?
      Women are more likely to be influenced by traditional leaders than men
      Voters in Majuro/Ebeye are most influenced by their traditional leaders
      Respondents with some high school or high school diploma most likely to be
       influenced by traditional leaders




                                                                                     16
                         % Voters Influcenced by Family, Church
                                and Traditional Leaders
                                         (by Geographic Area)

               40%            33%
               30%
                                                     18%                     19%
               20%
               10%
                0%
                          Majuro/Ebeye            Jaluit/Wotje           Outer Islands


                     % Voters Influenced by Family, Church and
                                 Traditional Leaders
                                         (by Education Level)


               40%                                               35%
               35%                          30%
               30%          25%                                                 25%
               25%
               20%
               15%
               10%
                5%
                0%
                          Less than      Some High        High School        Post-High
                         High School       School          Graduate           School


Q13) Do you feel free to vote for any candidate?
      Slightly more men (2%) feel free to vote than women
      Young voters feel the least free to vote for any candidate
      Respondents with less than high school education or post-high school education feel
       most free
      Biggest difference between geographic locations

                               Do you feel free to vote for any
                                        candidate?

                   98%                                                     96%
                   96%
                                                     93%
                   94%
                   92%
                   90%
                   88%            87%
                   86%
                   84%
                   82%
                           Majuro/Ebeye         Wotje/Jaluit           Outer Islands     17
Q14) When you choose a candidate, which of the following qualities is the most
important to you?
      Honesty was the #1 response across all demographics


         60%         53%
         50%
         40%
         30%                                                           24%
         20%
                                                       8%                         9%
         10%                           6%

          0%
                   Honesty        I know the Experience Work Ethic Generosity
                                  Candidate


Q15) How confident do you feel that who people voted for is kept secret?


               70%         60%
               60%
               50%
               40%
               30%
               20%                                               15%
                                       8%             9%                     8%
               10%
                0%
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      Majuro/Ebeye voters least confident in secret ballot
      Young voters least confident in secret ballot
      Confidence decreases as education increases




                                                                                       18
                                   % "Very Confident"

            80%                              72%
            70%
                                                                  65%
                         57%
            60%
            50%
            40%
            30%
            20%
            10%
             0%
                    Majuro/Ebeye         Wotje/Jaluit         Outer Islands




Q16-Q19: Confidence in Women Leaders
         Biggest disparities exist among geographic locations
         Confidence in women leaders decreases as position level increases (i.e. most
          support for women in councils, least support for women as president)


                               Can a woman be a good…

                                        % "Yes"

          100%        90%
           90%                        85%               84%
           80%
           70%
           60%                                                          55%
           50%
           40%
           30%
           20%
           10%
            0%
                    Council          Mayor          Senator         President
                    member




                                                                                         19
                 Council member, % Yes

                                             99%
100%
                            96%
95%
90%        86%
85%
80%
75%
       Majuro/Ebeye      Jaluit/Wotje    Outer Islands



                      Mayor, % Yes

120%
                                              97%
100%                         90%
           80%
80%
60%
40%
20%
 0%
       Majuro/Ebeye       Jaluit/Wotje    Outer Islands



                      Senator, % Yes

100%
                                               95%
95%                           93%

90%
85%
           80%
80%
75%
70%
       Majuro/Ebeye       Jaluit/Wotje     Outer Islands



                                                           20
                                       President % Yes

           100%
                                                                     81%
            80%                                  74%

            60%            44%
            40%
            20%
               0%
                     Majuro/Ebeye            Jaluit/Wotje        Outer Islands



Q21) When is the next election?
          71% total correct


                               % Correct

     100%                                              84%
         80%         68%
                                     58%
         60%

         40%

         20%

         0%
                Majuro/Ebeye      Wotje/Jaluit   Outer Islands




Q22) How often are elections held in the RMI?
          72% total correct

                               % Correct

    100%
                                                       80%
     80%            71%
                                    65%
     60%

     40%

     20%

      0%
               Majuro/Ebeye      Wotje/Jaluit    Outer Islands                   21
      Men have 4% more correct answers than women for both questions
      Outer island voters have significantly higher % of correct answers
      Respondents with more education have higher % of correct answers
      Young respondents have highest % of incorrect answers


Q23) In the RMI, can a woman legally hold the office of president?
      Less than half of voters surveyed answered this question correctly (48%)
      4% more men than women answers this question correctly
      Middle-aged voters have highest % of correct answers
      Outer islands have highest % of correct answers
      Voters with less than high school or post-high school education most likely to
       answer correctly


                                   % Correct

                                                              66%
           70%                             63%
           60%
           50%
                          40%
           40%
           30%
           20%
           10%
             0%
                   Majuro/Ebeye        Wotje/Jaluit      Outer Islands



Q24) When a candidate gives gifts or money to a voter in exchange for his or vote,
does this violate any law?
      85% of all voters surveyed answered this question correctly
      2% more women answered this question correctly than men
      Voters with post-high school education have highest % of correct answers
      No major differences among age groups or geographic groups




                                                                                        22
Q25) What do you think is the most important characteristic of a
democracy?




                Human/Individual
                                      Other, 18%
                    Rights, 3%

         Elections/Voting, 3%
                                                   Don't know, 53%
                                   Freedom, 23%




Q26) Do you live in a democracy?
      59% of voters surveyed answered “yes”
      6% more men answered “yes” than women
      Young people had the lowest % of voters answer “yes”
      Voters on the outer islands most likely to respond “yes”
      Voters with post-high school education more like to respond “yes”


                                            % "Yes"

         80%                                                             69%
                                                   64%
         60%              54%


         40%

         20%

          0%
                     Majuro/Ebeye             Jaluit/Wotje           Outer Islands




                                                                                     23
                                          % "Yes"

        80%                                                            67%
                    59%                                   59%
                                    54%
        60%

        40%

        20%

         0%
                Less than High   Some High           High School     Post-High
                   School          School             Graduate     School Study



Q27) Do you think that all people in the RMI are treated equally?
      Only 29% of voters surveyed think all people in the RMI are treated equally
      No major differences among sexes, age groups, geographic groups or education
       groups



                                    Don't Know
                                       10%


                                                    Yes
                                                    29%


                                           No
                                          61%




Q28) Do you feel that who you vote for directly affects your life?
      65% of voters surveyed answered “yes”
      No major differences between sexes
      Middle-aged respondents most likely to answer “yes”
      Voters with less than high school education or post-high school education more
       likely to answer “yes”
      Highest % “yes” on outer islands


                                                                                        24
                                            % "Yes"

            100%
                                                                          78%
              80%                                   71%
                                60%
              60%

              40%

              20%

                 0%
                        Majuro/Ebeye           Jaluit/Wotje           Outer Islands



Q29) Do you feel that it is your responsibility to vote?
      88% of voters surveyed answered “yes”
      No major difference among sexes
      Lowest sense of responsibility among young voters
      Stronger sense of responsibility among voters with more education
      Strongest sense of voter responsibility on outer islands


                                            % "Yes"

                                                                              94%
           95%
                                                            91%
           90%         88%
                                         85%
           85%


           80%
                  Less than High      Some High          High School        Post-High
                       School            School            Graduate       School Study



                                               % "Yes"

                      94%                                               93%

                      92%
                                                     90%
                      90%

                      88%          87%

                      86%

                      84%
                             Majuro/Ebeye         Jaluit/Wotje    Outer Islands
                                                                                         25
Q30) In your opinion, after a candidate is elected to office, does he or she have any
obligation to the people who elected him or her?
      72% of voters surveyed answered “yes”
      No major difference between the sexes
      Lowest sense of candidate obligation among young voters
      Outer island voters answered “yes” nearly 20% more than voters in Majuro/Ebeye
      No major differences among education groups


                                        % "Yes"

             100%                                                 86%
                                              80%
              80%         67%

              60%

              40%

              20%

               0%
                      Majuro/Ebeye        Jaluit/Wotje      Outer Islands




Q31) If you wanted information about a specific law or regulation, how difficult do
you think it would be for you to get that information?
      Men answer “not difficult” 10% more than women
      Middle-aged people most likely to answer “not difficult”
      People with more education more likely to answer “not difficult”
      People on outer islands answer “very difficult” almost twice as often as those on
       Majuro/Ebeye


                      11%
                                        24%
                                                            Not Difficult
                                                            Somewhat Difficult
                18%
                                                            Difficult
                                                            Very Difficult
                                         7%
                                                            Don't Know

                            25%

                                                                                           26
Q32) In your opinion, which of the following is the most powerful?
      Women are more likely to answer “don’t know” than men
      Middle-aged voters least likely to answer “don’t know” and most likely to answer
       “citizens”
      Voters with more education less likely to answer “don’t know” and more likely to
       answer “citizens”
      Voters on outer islands least likely to answer “don’t know”, and most likely to
       answer “citizens”



                          19%
                                           23%                     President
                                                                   Cabinet
                                                                   Nitijela
                                                                   Council of Iroij
                                              7%
                    21%                                            Courts
                                                                   Citizens
                                            11%
                                                                   Don't Know
                           5%
                                  14%




                                                                                          27
KEY FINDINGS BY COMMUNITY
Note: “average” refers to the overall, non-disaggregated results
MAJURO
       95% of eligible respondents are registered to vote (2% above average)
       76% voter turnout in 2003 (lowest among all atolls surveyed)
       Support for women is about 5% below total average of all people surveyed
       Only 60% of respondents believe that an elected leader has an obligation to the
        people who elect him or her (12% below average)
       Belief in access to information is below average
        Jenrok
                  93% of eligible respondents are registered to vote
                  75% voter turnout in 2003
                  Relatively low support for women leaders
                  Only 51% of respondents feel that who they vote for directly affects their
                  life (14% below average)
        Delap
                  93% of eligible respondents are registered to vote
                  Only 65% voter turnout in 2003 (15% below average)
                  High % of female respondents influenced by family when voting (40%)
                  72% of respondents “very confident” in secret ballot (12% above average)
                  High support for women as president relative to other Majuro communities
                  and Ebeye (65%)
                  Only 75% of respondents feel it is their responsibility to vote (13% below
                  average)
        Laura
                  98% of eligible respondents are registered to vote
                  86% voter turnout in 2003
                  High % of respondents taken to register by someone else (63%)
                  60% of respondents are influenced by family when voting (21% above
                  average)



                                                                                            28
                  33% of respondents are influenced by church when voting (11% above
                  average)
                  Only 37% “very confident” in secret ballot (23% below average)
                  Lowest confidence in women as president (36%)
                  Only 24% of respondents surveyed think a woman can legally be president
                  (lowest among all communities)
                  97% recognize bribery as illegal (highest among all communities)
                  Only 14% of respondents believe that all Marshallese are treated equally
                  (15% below average)


EBEYE
     86% of eligible respondents are registered to vote
     82% voter turnout in 2003
     High % of respondents influenced by family, church and traditional leaders when
        voting
     Influence by church and traditional leaders highest on Ebeye (31%, 44%)
     Lowest % of respondents agree that they feel free to vote for any candidate (84%)
     38% of respondents support women as president (lowest except for Laura)
     37% of respondents think it is legal for a woman to be president (lowest except for
        Laura)
     Only 44% of respondents think they live in a democracy (15% below average)
     Highest % of respondents to answer that the “Council of Iroij” is the most powerful
        (27%) and lowest to answer “Citizens” (15%, tied with Wotje)


AILUK
     100% of eligible respondents are registered to vote
     94% voter turnout in 2003
     86% of respondents went to register on their own (29% above average)
     Lowest % of respondents influenced by family, church and traditional leaders when
        voting, and influence is much higher among women than men



                                                                                              29
      81% of respondents say “honesty” is the most important quality in a candidate
         (highest among all atolls surveyed)
      67% of respondents feel “very confident” in the secret ballot
      Overall highest support for women leaders at all levels, and support is actually higher
         among men than women
      82% of respondents know it is legal for a woman to be president
      Relatively low % of correct answers for other civic knowledge questions
      Only 43% of respondents think they live in a democracy (16% below average)
      Only 12% of respondents think that all people in the RMI are treated equally (17%
         below the average)


ARNO
      94% of eligible respondents are registered to vote
      71% voter turnout in 2003 (9% below average)
      Voter turnout among men was 14% higher than women
      Highest % of respondents who use radio for government and candidate information
         (94%, 89%)
      Overall, voter influence is low, but higher among women than men (as with most
         other surveyed areas)
      Very high % of support for women leaders
      Very high % of correct answers for knowledge-based questions


JALUIT
      89% of eligible respondents are registered to vote
      83% voter turnout in 2003
      Voter influence is higher among men than women (unlike all other communities)
      70% of respondents are “very confident” in the secret ballot (10% above average)
      Low civic knowledge relative to other outer islands, especially among women
      Only 7% of respondents think that all Marshallese are treated equally (22% below
         average)



                                                                                           30
     Only 83% of respondents feel that it is their responsibility to vote (lowest among all
        atolls surveyed)


WOTHO
     96% of eligible respondents are registered to vote
     100% voter turnout in 2003
     90% of respondents went to register on their own (33% above average)
     High % of respondents influenced by family, church and traditional leaders relative
        to other outer islands, especially among women
     100% of respondents feel free to vote for any candidate
     Low confidence in secret ballot
     High support for women leaders
     High % of correct answers for knowledge-based questions
     85% of respondents consider the citizens to be the most powerful (64% above
        average)
     When asked what they considered the most important characteristic of a democracy,
        a high percentage of respondents answered “peace”, as opposed to “freedom” and
        “rights”, which were the most common answers in all other communities


WOTJE
     95% of eligible respondents are registered to vote
     80% voter turnout in 2003
     77% of respondents went to register on their own (20% above average)
     75% of respondents feel “very confident” about secret ballot
     High support for women leaders (on par with other outer islands)
     Highest % of respondents who believe that women should be as involved in political
        leadership as men (98%)
     89% of respondents believe the RMI is a democracy
     41% of respondents think all Marshallese are treated equally (12% above average)
     Highest % of respondents who feel it is their responsibility to vote (98%)



                                                                                          31
MILI
        100% of eligible respondents are registered to vote
        90% voter turnout in 2003
        40% of respondents are influenced by family when voting (11% above average
        among all outer islands)
        Women are more influenced by traditional leaders when voting than men (29%:14%)
        More respondents value “work ethic” (42%) in a candidate than “honesty” (34%)
        (unlike most other communities, where “honesty” in the #1 response)
        86% of respondents are “very confident” in secret ballot (26% above average)
        42% of respondents believe that all Marshallese are treated equally (13% above
        average)
        41% of respondents believe accessing information is “not difficult” (17% above
        average)
        31% of women answered that accessing information is “not difficult”, compared to
        51% of men




                                                                                          32
LESSONS LEARNED
    We initially intended to use household income as an indicator, but chose not to
    because of poor data quality. Assessing household income was difficult for many
    reasons. Surveyors were only to ask the head of the household to report the various
    annual incomes for the entire household. This proved to be difficult, as many
    households have a very fluid residency, and total incomes are often not measured
    annually, or recorded at all. Some surveyors and respondents also had trouble
    understanding the question because the format was confusing. Additionally, the total
    household income was not divided by the number of residents, meaning that the size
    of the income was not measured against number of dependents. Without
    determining per capita income, the income data does not reveal anything about the
    respondent’s individual financial resources. Finally, almost half of all respondents di
    not answer the question at all (the question was eliminated in Ebeye in an effort to
    save time). Therefore, the income data is not reliable and is not used as a
    demographic indicator in the analysis.
    More money should have been budgeted for this project. The allotted budget was
    $7,155, and the final expenditures totaled $7,684.58. Though the quality of the
    survey was not compromised by the small amount of resources, as the project
    progressed the survey sample had to be reduced because of lack of funds (from ten
    atolls to eight). A larger budget would have provide greater flexibility and allowed
    travel to more atolls. Nonetheless, the success of the survey demonstrates that
    quality data can still be collected with minimal resources.
    More time should have been allotted for training. As there was only one person
    coordinating the survey, training generally lasted no more than one day total, with a
    brief classroom training that included survey protocol, using maps and questionnaire
    content. Surveyors conducted a handful of practice interviews before beginning the
    actual surveying. The questionnaire was relatively simple to administer, but another
    day of training and practice might have improved the confidence and work of the
    surveyors.
    Allowing the local community (generally the WUTMI chapter president and Mayor)
    to select the surveyors proved the best way to find surveyors. This also served to



                                                                                           33
 strengthen ties between WUTMI and the local communities. The surveyors in
 Majuro were not selected in this way, and some proved to be unreliable. Most
 Majuro surveyors were also working full-time jobs, but were selected because of
 previous experience. This prolonged the data collection in Majuro unnecessarily. In
 the future, it would be advisable to only hire individuals who are not otherwise
 committed and who are selected by community leaders.
 Surveyors were given a training stipend of $25.00, $5.00 per survey completed, and a
 $25.00 completion stipend for completing their work on time. The rate of $5.00 a
 survey may have been a bit high, but also served to motivate surveyors to complete
 as many individual surveys as possible.




                                                                                    34
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The findings of this survey indicate that civic education efforts need to be focused on young
voters and voters in Majuro and Ebeye. To reach young voters, WUTMI plans to review
and make recommendations to gender-sensitize the current elementary civic education
curriculums and give assistance to the Ministry of Education as they develop the curriculum
at the high school level. WUTMI intends to continue this project over the next five years
with a focus on young voters by developing civic education programs and activities at high
schools around the country.


To reach adult communities, the survey makes it clear that radio is the most effective way to
disseminate information. As a result, WUTMI is planning a youth-led civic education radio
program in the lead-up to the 2007 election, with plans to continue after November. We are
also currently carrying out a project conducting civic education workshops on atolls.
WUTMI intends to conduct a follow-up voter survey before the 2011 elections in order to
measure the success of civic education initiatives.


Startlingly, only 59% of voters surveyed believe that they live in a democracy. A democracy
can only function properly and effectively when people understand their rights and
responsibilities as citizens and how their government works. Citizens must have this
knowledge in order to hold their leaders accountable. Therefore government documents,
including all bills, laws and regulations need to be readily available to the public in
Marshallese.


There is a considerable amount of support for women leaders. This support, along with
nothing formally blocking women from participating in government, leads to two
conclusions.


First, we need to focus on preparing women to stand for office and be leaders by building
their confidence in themselves. The high levels of support for women in most government
posts (with the notable exception of President) imply that lack of female candidates, rather
than lack of support for them, is what contributes to a low number of female office holders.
Many women do not believe that they have the skills or education to become public


                                                                                               35
servants, and therefore candidate trainings should be conducted to encourage interested
women to run for office.


Second, though WUTMI is ready and resourced to take on the challenge of civic education
and promoting women in leadership, the national government needs to take their
commitments to international conventions and agreements seriously by making sincere
efforts to achieve gender-balanced leadership in government. It is important to acknowledge
that several changes have been made to comply with some aspects of these conventions and
agreements, but no formal efforts have been made to improve the status of women in
government leadership. The Pacific has one of the lowest overall representations of women
in government when compared with other regions in the world, but the RMI is well-
positioned to move towards gender-balanced leadership with a customary tradition of
women leaders.


We cannot avoid our obligation to actively support women leaders by pointing to the fact
that no formal barriers exist for women and that traditionally women are respected as leaders
in Marshallese custom. The merging of traditional and modern systems of governance has
damaged the position of women in decision-making. This must be acknowledged and
challenged so that women may take their rightful place as leaders and decision-makers in
their communities.


A new National Women’s Policy should be drafted in consultation with all relevant
community stakeholders. The now expired 1995-2001 National Women’s Policy would be
worth revisiting as it does a commendable job of addressing many of the issues facing
Marshallese women and provides helpful policy suggestions, specifically in the area of
women in leadership and government.


The new Women’s Policy should formally establish a Women’s Ministry or equivalent
national machinery that is adequately resourced to oversee the implementation of the tasks
outlined in the various international conventions and agreements to which the RMI is party.
The current position of the Women in Development Desk within the Ministry of Internal
Affairs places women’s affairs at the bottom of a long list of responsibilities conferred upon


                                                                                            36
the Ministry. Creating an independent women’s machinery would improve progress towards
compliance with CEDAW, the MDGs, and the Beijing and Pacific Platforms for Action and
generally improve the status of women in the RMI.


The success of gender quotas around the world suggests that this is perhaps the most
efficient and effective way to achieve a “critical mass” of women in government leadership
(generally agreed to be 30-40% of elected posts). This can be done in several ways, ranging
from reserved seats in parliament to parties electing to establish their own gender quotas
when nominating candidates. There is certainly support available in this area from numerous
regional and international agencies.


Relative to other countries within the Pacific and around the world, Marshallese are active
and informed voters. Levels of support for women in most government posts are
promising, and the Marshall Islands have the unique advantage of a cultural tradition that
respects women as capable leaders. But democracy in the Marshall Islands could serve to be
improved by ensuring that citizens have a better understanding of how their government
works and by increasing the number of women in leadership positions to achieve a truly
representative government. WUTMI will continue to work toward both of these ends and
looks forward to the support of the government and other organizations.




                                                                                              37

								
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