28 Nov 2014

Reserved seats needed to help Tongan women leaders

3:18 pm on 28 November 2014

An advocate for women in Tonga says it is vital that there is some mechanism to ensure representation by women in decision making.

In yesterday's election a record 16 women stood but none got elected although Vika Fusimalohi was just 51 votes shy in Tongatapu No 9.

Campaigns to try and increase the involvement of women and to convince voters of the merits of women as leaders appear to have failed.

Ma'a Fafine Moe Famili's Betty Blake says ideas such as temporary special measures to allow for reserved seats for women in the parliament are needed.

"It will take another century, to me right now, of women lobbying and advocating for women's participation in decision making, especially in parliament. I would very much like that there is some mechanism in place to help women, to make way for women to go into parliament or decision making."