Women Make Up 16% Of New Fiji Parliament

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8 out of 50 MPs is 45% increase from last elected Parliament

By Reginald Chandar

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Sept. 23, 2014) – Eight elected women candidates will represent 16% of Fiji’s new 50-member Parliament.

Five of the new women parliamentarians are members of the ruling FijiFirst Party while three will be part of the opposition.

And one of the co-conveners of the Fiji Women’s Forum and Executive Director of FemLink Pacific, Sharon Bhagwan Rolls views this as a success for women in national political leadership because it’s a 45% increase from 2006 – when only 8 of the 71-member lower house were females.

Fiji Women’s Rights Movement Executive Director, Virisila Buadromo said the the latest effort by the successful women candidates means we have surpassed the regional average of 13.4%.

"This is a big win for women in politics but since Fiji and the region still lags behind the Arab States, there is still a long way to go."

"The FWF is proud to have worked alongside many of the 44 women who put themselves forward in Fiji’s first democratic elections in eight years, and we hope to continue to work alongside all of the 44 women candidates by providing them with a space to share their experience and knowledge to either mentor future politicians, re-strategise for election 2018 or work together in developing and implementing gender responsive laws," added Buadromo.

Women candidates elected into Parliament include Dr Jiko Luveni (FijiFirst), Mereseini Vuniwaqa (FijiFirst), Lorna Eden (FijiFirst), Rosy Akbar (FijiFirst), Veena Bhatnagar (FijiFirst), Ro Teimumu Kepa (SODELPA), Salote Radrodro (SODELPA), Tupou Draunidalo (NFP).

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