16 Jun 2015

Tonga Democratic MP pushes against CEDAW

10:34 pm on 16 June 2015

A Tonga Democratic Party MP is pushing against his party's plans to ratify CEDAW.

The government's commitment to ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of All Discrimination Against Women, has attracted significant opposition in Tonga, particularly from the churches.

Now journalist and first time MP, Mateni Tapueluelu, who is married to Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva's daughter, has asked the government to drop plans to ratify it.

Indira Moala has more:

"Mateni Tapueluelu published his opposing viewpoints on CEDAW in an article in the Kele'a newspaper. He claims the Convention provides an open door for same sex marriages because it doesn't define the gender of a spouse or partner as being male. He also claimed the Convention will effectively legalise abortion. The Prime Minister has said CEDAW is good for Tonga and his party will ratify it. But Mr Tapueluelu says CEDAW needs to be properly explained to the people who don't understand it. Mr Tapueluelu wants the government to remove clauses that contradict Tonga's Christian morals. He is reported to have claimed the government is driven by money, not morals on this issue."

Tongan women protest against the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, arguing it includes counter-culture clauses such as same sex marriage and abortion.

Tongan women protest against the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, arguing it includes counter-culture clauses such as same sex marriage and abortion. Photo: Broadcomfm Broadcasting / Facebook

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