Tonga behind the international benchmark

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28th March, 2018

Tonga is sitting well behind the international benchmark that the country has agreed to for women’s representation in parliament.

‘Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki, Director of Tonga’s Women and Children Crisis Centre. (PC: RNZI/Koro Vaka’uta)

Today is International Women’s Day and the director of Tonga’s Women and Children Crisis Centre said it is a good time to take stock of the fact that less than seven percent of MP’s are women.

‘Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki said Tonga has agreed to the UN target of a minimum 30 percent.

She said the theme of this year’s day, ‘Press for Progress,’ is a call to keep pushing for legislative change that will increase the representation of women from the current two female MPs.

She said some of Tonga’s neighbours have set good examples.

“Certainly Samoa was leading in the forefront,” she said.

“They’ve made a constitutional amendment allowing for five floating seats to be activated at any time where there are less than five women being elected through the general election process.”

‘Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki said Vanuatu has also introduced women’s seats at the municipal level.

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