Fiji: 24 Per Cent Of Women Contested Elections

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26th November, 2018

Fiji voters queue at John Wesley College in Suva. (Photo: Radio NZ)

Women made up 24 per cent of the to­tal number of candidates who con­tested the 2018 Fiji General Election, says Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem.

Fifty-six women initially contested and at the declaration of the official results on Sun­day, 10 women were confirmed to take up par­liamentary positions for the next four years.

They are FijiFirst candidates Premila Ku­mar, Mereseini Vuniwaqa, Selai Adimai­toga, Rosy Akbar, Veena Bhatnagar; Social Democratic Liberal Party candidates Lynda Tabuya, Ro Teimumu Kepa, Adi Litia Qioni­baravi, Salote Radrodro; and National Feder­ation Party candidate Lenora Qereqeretabua.

Mr Saneem said this year’s election had more women in Parliament compared with the 2014 election.

“In 2014 the total number of women in par­liament was eight including the speaker and in the 2018 General Election we currently have 10 members of parliament who are fe­males, confirmed,” Mr Saneem said.

He stated the 10 women raked in a total of 25,618 votes during election.

“In 2014, 44 women contested the election – that was 18 per cent. The evolution of de­mocracy in Fiji is becoming more and more interesting,” he said.

“The number of women contesting the elec­tion has increased, the number of women in Parliament has increased to now at least one-fifth relatively of the total members of Par­liament, which is women. This will continue to grow as more and more women contest the election due to the access that they have to contesting the election.”

In a statement sent yesterday, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement Executive Director Nalini Singh said: “It is encouraging to see an in­crease in women’s representation at national level. This will empower other women to par­ticipate in decision-making at other levels of society and dismantle harmful stereotypes and barriers that still exist for women.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

[Source: Fiji Sun Online, 21 Nov 2018]

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