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This page collects stories on developments throughout the Pacific in promoting women in politics. Because many news sites in the Pacific archive their stories after a period of time, we have replicated the stories in full on this page, to keep an archive on efforts and article in the region. We thank all Pacific news colleagues for their contributions in sharing stories on women in politics. If you have a story we have missed, please send it to the PacWIP team on

‘Deal with the disaster’: the girl from Bougainville who grew up to take on a mining giant

17th October, 2020

[By Leanne Jorari and Ben Doherty] Panguna mine is often cast as the economic key to Bougainville’s potential independence, but young MP Theonila Matbob says her people, and their land, must come first For all of Theonila Roka Matbob’s three decades, the scar on her land that was once the world’s largest copper mine has...


Pauline Radoe Firisua, a former central banker up for by-election in Solomon Islands

07th October, 2020

A FORMER Central Banker has confirmed her intention to contest the Central Honiara by-election next month. Pauline Radoe Firisua said she would be contesting as an “Independent” candidate.“I am contesting for our children, women, youth and family in this by-election,” Mrs. Firisua said after settling her fee and other election requirements this afternoon. “I wanted...


‘She set the benchmark’: trailblazing PNG politician Nahau Rooney dies, aged 75

26th September, 2020

Manus Island’s Nahau Rooney, at one time the only woman in PNG’s parliament, dedicated her life to advancing women in her country. Hardworking, audacious, occasionally controversial, but always vivacious: one of Papua New Guinea’s political pioneers, Nahau Rooney, has been remembered as a trailblazer for PNG women in power following her death on 15 September,...


Women eye cabinet positions after Bougainville election

23rd September, 2020

By Michael Taylor, Sept 23 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Women will retain 10% of parliamentary seats after an election in the South Pacific archipelago of Bougainville and will push the new president to appoint more women to cabinet roles, analysts said on Wednesday. The two-week general election held in August was the first since autonomous...


“I Always Had a Voice: Rose Tala – Solomon Islands Provincial Member”

18th September, 2020

[By Georgina Kekea, 18 September 2020] – Rose was destined for public office, as a young girl growing up, she was outgoing and witty. Rose was very opinionated, but now it is louder and more determined. “I am always outgoing and speak to people I don’t even know”, Rose says. “I wish I had three...


Law, health system weakening: former Samoa Deputy PM Fiame

16th September, 2020

Former Samoa deputy Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa said Samoa is “sliding away from the rule of law” and broadened her criticisms of the Government’s to include the capacity of the country’s health system in a post-resignation interview. Mata’afa resigned last Friday after speaking out against three proposed bills that would restructure Samoa’s judiciary. Mata’afa...


Rare win for a woman in Bougainville election

15th September, 2020

A 29 year old has become just the second woman to win an open seat in the Bougainville parliament. Theonila Roka Matbob Photo: Human Rights Law Centre Theonila Roka Matbob’s Ioro constituency in central Bougainville includes the Panguna mine within its boundaries. The university graduate, who is a relative of Bougainville’s first president, Joseph Kabui,...


Samoa’s Fiame to remain independent, for time being

14th September, 2020

Samoa’s former deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, says she will not be joining another political party any time soon. Samoa’s Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa Photo: Dominic Godfrey / RNZ Pacific Fiame resigned last week and the veteran politican says she will remain an independent for the rest of the current parliamentary term....


Samoa’s deputy prime minister quits cabinet over controversial bills

11th September, 2020

Samoan deputy prime minister has quit Cabinet and the country’s Human Rights Protection Party, in a defection over controversial proposals to amend the constitution. Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, who is also natural resources minister, quit on Friday after meeting with constituents over the three bills, which would alter the power of the land and titles court....


Kiribati parliament votes in first female speaker

22nd May, 2020

The Kiribati Parliament has made history today with MPs voting in the country’s first female Speaker of Parliament, former Opposition member Tangariki Reete. Ms Reete won the vote by 25-19 with the TKP party of caretaker President Taneti Maamau supporting former House Speaker, Tebuai Uaai, for another term. In Kiribati the Speaker of the House...


A reflection on women and the role they play in Vanuatu’s development – 40 years on

19th May, 2020

  [By Godwin Ligo, Port Vila] On May 15 1980, just two months before Independence, civic and political women leaders decided to come together and form the first ever Vanuatu National Council of Women (VNCW). It was a desire to unite all women of Vanuatu, regardless of politics, religion, language and culture or islands, as...


New political party formed in Kiribati, chaired by Hon Tessie Lambourne

18th May, 2020

A new political party has been established in Kiribati known as ‘Boutokaan Kiribati Moa’ party (BKM). The party’s newly selected executive members include new MP for Abemama, Tessie Eria Lambourne as Chairperson, Makin MP, Pinto Katia as Vice Chairman, new North Tarawa MP, Terieta Mwemwenikeaki as Secretary, South Tarawa MP, Shiu Fung Jong as Treasurer...