Vanuatu women to seek quota for MPs

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Women attending a political workshop in Vanuatu have agreed to pursue a quota system for the 2016 election.

Nearly 20 women, who are intending to stand in the October election, have been attending a workshop organised by the department of women’s affairs into the workings of parliament and being an MP.

Vanuatu voters have elected five women to the 52-seat parliament since independence in 1980 and the current parliament has just one woman MP.

The department’s director, Doresthy Watson, says there are many obstacles to women assuming responsibility at all levels of government.

“One of the things that is currently in discussion at this workshop is looking at the opportunity for introducing [a] quota system. A legislated quota system is one of the options that women have agreed to pursue, not this coming election, but 2016.”
Doresthy Watson says women need to find strategies to combat traditional barriers to them becoming involved in decision making.

[Radio New Zealand International]