When Delilah Gore walked into parliament that first day of her political career women across Papua New Guinea stood still and in tears.
For some reason she gave us the women of this country the feeling of freshness – a freshness to the leadership that women’s groups saw was declining in this country. Delilah Gore was a name never heard before and so there was something about new blood in Papua New Guinea's mainstream politics. She was our ray of hope.
Then Delilah started to loose her shine. Her leadership style was no different to the very styles that women had been critiquing and challenging. She thought and issued her statements like the men did.
The first instance when she refused to respect a young Air Niugini stewardess on an aircraft preparing for departure. This gave her, the attention women’s groups didn’t want. Then she was made minister for Higher Education and the first thing she said to the protesting students of PNG University of Technology was ‘go back to class or else”.
Now she is caught in a plot to remove governor Gary Juffa from office and install member for Ijivitari David Arore as the new Governor for Oro Province. She is said to sponsor meetings at the Grand Papua Hotel in Port Moresby where the plans took place and flew the Southern Command Police from Port Moresby to Oro’s provincial capital of Popondetta to support her plot with David Arore. This police command is said to be guarding the logging activities in Kiunga, Western Province.
Delilah Gore is member for Sohe, a rural electorate in Oro Province who sees very little government services. Her people voted her in as they hoped maybe a woman would bring some much needed positive change.
Sohe benefits from oil palm development. While many like to talk about the monetary returns of oil palm numerous reports have shown life on oil palm plantations have never been good for many especially women and children. Her own people know this too.
The development of oil palm plantations have been the cause of large scale land grabbing and illegal logging in Papua New Guinea, the very things that Governor Gary Juffa has been standing up to. These land grabbing activities have forced families off their land and have helped to increase poverty levels in this country while denying the people of the land the profits.
Oil palm development often comes after a lot of trees have been cleared. Many of these trees leave our Papua New Guinean shores unaccounted. Illegal logging is rampant in this country and Delilah’s actions against Gary Juffa’s fight to clean up Oro as an example for Papua New Guinea is questionable.
Her people of Sohe need some services delivered and the women of Papua New Guinea want some real leadership from her.