17 Nov 2005

Tonga's only woman MP to push for ratification of CEDAW

4:44 pm on 17 November 2005

Tonga's only woman MP says she has made it her personal mission to ensure that the kingdom ratifies the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women or CEDAW.

Lepolo Mahe Taunisila has received a report to present to parliament from the United Nations Volunteer group, the South Pacific Community and the Catholic Womens' Welfare League in Tonga.

The groups surveyed 1-thousand women in the Kingdom regarding their opinions on the various principles of CEDAW.

Ms Taunisila says although women enjoy high social status in Tonga it is not reflected in the law or politically.

"I still respect those cultural aspects but at the same time all those laws, like the land laws - I certainly believe that women need to have the same opportunities as the males for all the resources of the country, as well as other opportunities, that they lack today."

Lepolo Mahe Taunisila