Cook Islands PM Encourages Women To Enter Politics

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Puna believes in equality, but not in reserved parliament seats

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 27, 2013) – The Prime Minister of the Cook Islands is urging more women to make the jump into elected politics - under the Cook Islands Party banner.

Henry Puna says he believes in equality of the sexes and he is encouraging more women to step up.

There are currently no female members of parliament, but the Cook Islands Party, led by Mr. Puna, says it wants more women in caucus.

However, the party says a special provision or rule is not the way to address the issue.

Mr. Puna says he thinks women will feel belittled if specific arrangements by way of preferential nomination were to be made.

Previously, a pledge from the 2010 Cook Islands Party manifesto included the consideration of appointing a seventh minister to address gender issues.

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