UN HELPING WOMEN PLAY BIGGER PACIFIC POLITICAL ROLE

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (March 4, 2000 –Fiji’s Daily Post)---There is a push by the United Nations for women to play a bigger role in Pacific politics.

Later this month, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) will host a seminar for women in parliament around the Pacific region.

Since the Fourth World Conference, UNIFEM has aimed at the "Political Empowerment of Pacific Women."

"To this end, UNIFEM Pacific has been working with Pacific Island countries in the area of shared decision-making through the training of women leaders in appointed or elected positions at all levels of decision-making," said UNIFEM.

The Fiji Mocambo Hotel will host the seminar between March 23 and 25.

Organizers plan to highlight the effects that global developments have on the people of the Pacific.

After the seminar, the United Nations Development Programme will host a conference for presidents of legal bodies and parliamentarians of Pacific Island countries.

Other officials from parliament and public service organizations also are expected to attend.

"In order to save costs in organizing a national workshop to address the same issues, we have decided to extend an invitation to Fiji parliamentarians," UNIFEM said.

Many women political candidates have been trained for national elections, resulting in the recent increase in the number of women in Pacific parliaments.

Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Niue, Samoa, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands and the Cook Islands have all seen an increase in the number of women in their legislatures.

For additional reports from Fiji’s Daily Post, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Resources/Fijilive.

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