3 Nov 2005

Tongan NZ academic hints at gender-based voting in event of political reform

8:26 am on 3 November 2005

A New Zealand-based Tongan academic and public health worker says if there are any political changes in the Kingdom then gender-based voting should be introduced.

Eseta Finau was one of six speakers at a recent seminar on democracy and change in Tonga.

Most of the speakers suggested that a fully democratic system might not be suited to the Kingdom.

Ms Finau, who spoke on the status of women, agreed.

She says women are socially superior in Tongan culture and that concept may be eroded by democratic change.

However Ms Finau says if there's to be change, then women should be restricted to vote for women candidates, and men for their male counterparts.

"I think it would be fantastic and there would be heaps of women. Women are leaders, they are governors, they are leaders of family and in high position in government, they can do it! I think it would be a model I would expect to happen."