Nauru has a population of approximately 10,000 people. Elections are required to be held at least every three years, although political instability has often resulted in more frequent elections. Nauru has an unusual electoral system called the Modified Borda Count, and uses multi-member constituencies. The national Parliament has 19 Members of Parliament, since an enactment in July 2012 came into force during the 8 June 2013 national elections.
Prior to 2013, Honorouble Ruby Dediya had been the lone female MP who was elected four times, serving from 1986 to 1989 and then 1992 to 1997. A study completed in 2006, “Developing a More Facilitating Environment for Womens Political Participation in Nauru“, found that between 1968 and 2004, 860 male candidates ran for national elections in Nauru, with only 31 female candidates running.
It is notable that women were relatively successful in being elected to the Constitutional Convention in 2007, suggesting that women in Nauru are ready to take on the role of parliamentarians. In light of the large number of independents in the Parliament, the only temporary special measure which could be utilised to increase the number of women in the Parliament is the creation of seats reserved for women. This was suggested during the 2006-7 constitutional reform process, but was not supported during public consultations.
In the 2007 and 2008 elections the number of women candidates dramatically increased and two women came close to election.
In the 2013 elections, five women ran for Parliament and one was successful, Hon Charmaine Scotty.
In 2016, a total of 67 candidates, including 4 women, stood for the 19-seat Parliament in the elections with 2 women being successfully elected, namely Hon. Charmaine Scotty and Hon Gabrissa Hartman who was elected following a by-election.
The 2019 election has a total of 60 candidates that included 5 women (8%), competing for 19 seats in 8 Constituencies. Full names and details of the candidates can be viewed on here. The five women candidates for the 2019 Nauru general elections were Charmaine Scotty (Yaren District), Isabella Dageago (Yaren), Gabrissa Hartman (Ubenide), Ronay Dick (Menen) and Kaye Aliklik (Ubenide). Hon, Charmaine Scotty was re-elected and Hon. Isabelle Dageago was elected and made Minister for Health and Minister for Home Affairs.
Parliamentary elections were held in Nauru on 24 September 2022. A total of 77 candidates nominated to contest the election, with 11 women running for Parliament. The election resulted in 17 current MPs being returned and 2 new MPs being elected. The two current female MPs, Hon. Charmaine Scotty and Hon. Isabelle Dageago retained their seats.
Hon Charmaine Eraidinomo Scotty
Term: June 2013 - June 2016; July 2016 - 2019; 2019 - 2022
Electorate: Constituency of Yaren
Political Status: Member of Parliament
Hon. Isabelle Dageago
Term: 2019 - 2022
Electorate: Yaren District
Political Status: Minister for Health; and Home Affairs