26th November, 2018
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]