30 Mar 2011

Push to boost women representation in Pacific parliaments

5:22 pm on 30 March 2011

Enforcing quotas, introducing mandated seats to address issues of culture and religion are some of the suggestions to boost women representation in parliaments in the Pacific.

More than a dozen Pacific Island female politicians are in Wellington this week to help overcome what's been described as an abysmal representation rate.

Beverley Tse has more.

"Delegates have stressed the importance of women in Parliament, the role of non-government organisations, working with media, and campaigning. A New Zealand MP Sue Moroney wants to ensure there are no barriers for mothers being parliamentarians, for example by planning parliamentary recesses around school holidays. Samoa's Gatoloaifaana Amataga Alesana-Gidlow emphasized the need to educate women to take on leadership roles, instead of letting the men make all the decisions. Support was also given by some for a review of electoral systems by for example introducing quotas, if parliaments fail to get adequate representation of women. Organisers of the event are now hoping a new group can be set up for Pacific women politicians to continue discussions on the issue."