Women’s representation in Pacific Island parliaments
Many Pacific Island countries have a pool of well educated women who are already leaders in their fields, but women continue to be significantly under-represented in most Pacific Island parliaments.
This is the main finding of a recent Research paper by Pleasance Purser of the New Zealand Parliamentary Library.
Since the paper was finalised:
- The Cook Islands held a general election on 9 July 2014. Four of the seven women candidates were elected to Parliament.
- One woman was successful in the Solomon Islands general election held on 19 November 2014.
- Tonga held a general election on 27 November 2014. Despite a record 16 women standing as candidates, all the elected Members of Parliament were male.
[Photo courtesy of Fiona Way. Pictured are Hon Niki Rattle (Speaker, Cook Islands), Hon Vaaiga Paotama Tukuitonga (Niue), Hon Fiame Naomi Matafa (Samoa), Hon Gatoloaifa’ana Amataga Alesana Gidlow (Samoa), Hon Maere Tekanene (Kiribati) and Hon Rereao Tetaake Eria (Kiribati)]