20 Nov 2013

Fiji women advocate still hopes for temporary special measures

3:10 pm on 20 November 2013

Advocates for women in Fiji say they are still hoping for special measures mandating women's representation in parliament.

Fiji's new constitution does not contain temporary special measures for women, a mechanism some countries use to speed up progress towards gender equality.

But a spokesperson for the Fiji Women's Forum, Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, says there is still time for this to happen as the state has an end of year deadline to make changes to the constitution.

"It has a critical accountability, it is required as state party to the UN convention CEDAW [Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women] to put in place temporary special measures, to ensure that women have that kind of political space and support, so I would like to remain hopeful in that regard."

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls says if there are no such measures, political parties need to make sure they support women candidates as it will be very difficult for them to go it alone as independents.