23 Feb 2009

Tonga Women's Group makes formal submission for seats in Parliament to be set aside for women

8:17 pm on 23 February 2009

The Tongan Women's National Congress has made a formal submission for 30 percent of the seats in Parliament and 30 percent of the Cabinet positions to be reserved for women.

It has recommended this to the Constitutional and Electoral Commission which is now considering the nature of political reform that should be put in place in Tonga.

Earlier the Women's Congress had discussed how to increase political participation and raise the influence of women, in order to alleviate the problems they face.

In a statement the Congress says nearly 700 women signed the submission.

It says what it calls Temporary Affirmative Measures need only be in place for four terms.

It also calls for a Ministry of Women, Youth & Sports be established to strengthen Government's linkages with women groups in the community.

And the Congress points out that Tonga has been reserving seats in Parliament for 130 years, with the seats set aside for the nobles.