Tonga: Women Make History in Local Government elections
05th July, 2016
The Local Government elections took place on Wednesday 29 June of which 18 women stood as candidates for District and Town Officer Positions. Since March during International Women’s Day, the Women’s Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs together with key stakeholders of the civil society under the International Women’s Day National Planning Committee held various workshops, training and meeting sessions to encourage women to stand as candidates in their local districts. There were 11 women registered in Tongatapu alone, 9 for Town Officer position and 1 for District Officer position. From Vava’u, there were 5 women registered, 4 for Town Officer and 1 for District Officer. There was 1 woman who registered from Ha’apai for Town Officer and 1 from ‘Eua for District Officer position.
The results released from Tonga Electoral Commission to the Women’s Division confirmed that 2 women have successfully been elected – the first ever female District Officer from ‘Eua (‘Eua Motu’a District) out of the 2 District Officers, Sisifa Fili and the first ever female Town Officer for Tongatapu from Havelu, Vika Kaufusi. In addition to this success – 4 other women placed second position, 1 for District Officer (Hihifo District, Vava’u) and 3 for Town Officer (Ha’alalo&Ha’atafu, Tongatapu and Matamaka, Vava’u). This significant achievement allows for these women to be deputized and in a position to be Acting District and Town Officers.
The Division looks forward to continuous efforts with the civil society and the successful candidates to assist and work towards the greater development of women in leadership positions but also in advocating good leadership and governance at local and national level.
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Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs – Tonga