Tuvalu is a small island state with a population of approximately 10,000 people. The Tuvalu Parliament has 15 members. There are no formal political parties in Tuvalu and election campaigns are largely based on personal/family ties and reputation. Tuvalu elects its members from 8 island constituencies - seven of the constituencies have two members and one constituency has one member. Elections are held every 4 years.
Since independence, there have been only two woman elected to the national Parliament, and few women choose to run as candidates. In the 2006 election, there were only two women candidates. In the 2010 elections, no women were elected, but following a bye-election due to the death of a members of parliament, Hon Pelenika Isaia was elected. More women have become involved at the local level of government, with women participating in the quarterly meetings of Falekaupule Assemblies and serving on various development committees in the Kaupule (Council) for each island.
In the most recent General Election on Tuesday March 31, 2015 a total of 29 candidates stood for elections. There was only two women candidates, Dr Puakena Boreham and Pelenike Tekinene Isaia, and both of them were vying for the two seats of the Nui Electoral District. Dr Puakene Boreham was the only one who made it through, being the one woman in a 12 member parliament.
Dr Puakena Boreham
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