Publications

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This page collects together publications on issues related to women in politics from both the Pacific and the world. It collects together research documents, campaigning resources and key papers. If you have a publication we have missed, please send it to the PacWIP team at pacwip@gmail.com.

IPU/UN Women “Women in politics: 2021” map

IPU/UN Women “Women in politics: 2021” map

The “Women in politics: 2021” map, created by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women, presents global rankings for women in executive, government, and parliamentary positions as of 1 January 2021. It shows all-time highs for the number of countries with women Heads of State and/or Heads of Government, and for the global share of women ministers, parliamentary speakers, and parliamentarians.

Author: N/A

Institution: Inter-Parliamentary Union & UN Women

Date: March 10, 2021

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#NotTheCost: Qualitative Research Report on Violence Against Women in Politics in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands

#NotTheCost: Qualitative Research Report on Violence Against Women in Politics in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands

Women are historically underrepresented in politics in the Pacific Islands; Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands are no exception. At the same time, women in all three countries experience shocking levels of violence, in the home and in public. The convergence of traditional patriarchal gender stereotypes and societies accustomed to gender-based violence prevents women from claiming their political rights in democratic processes. This assessment builds on and contributes to research and action by the National Democratic Institute to eliminate violence against women in politics (VAW-P).

Author: N/A

Institution: National Democratic Institute & FemLink Pacific

Date: January 19, 2021

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The 2020 Vanuatu Elections: How Did Women Fare?

The 2020 Vanuatu Elections: How Did Women Fare?

In the Vanuatu national elections held on 19 March 2020, voters elected their third consecutive all-male parliament. Across 10 of Vanuatu’s 18 constituencies, only 18 women contested the elections and were significantly outnumbered, representing only six per cent of all candidates. Women have been absent from national parliament since 2012, and only five women have held a position in parliament since independence. This "In Brief" provides a preliminary analysis on women’s representation in Vanuatu politics and raises some questions for further research.

Author: Elise Howard

Institution: ANU Department of Political Affairs

Date: August 21, 2020

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IPU/UN Women “Women in politics: 2020” map

IPU/UN Women “Women in politics: 2020” map

The “Women in politics: 2020” map, created by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women, presents global rankings for women in executive, government, and parliamentary positions as of 1 January 2020. It shows all-time highs for the number of countries with women Heads of State and/or Heads of Government, and for the global share of women ministers, parliamentary speakers, and parliamentarians. Still, 25 years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which set the international target for reaching gender balance in political decision-making, women are underrepresented across all levels of power.

Author: N/A

Institution: Inter-Parliamentary Union & UN Women

Date: March 9, 2020

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Widows and Wives in Pacific Politics: A Reliable Pathway for Women?

Widows and Wives in Pacific Politics: A Reliable Pathway for Women?

Understanding women’s pathways to political leadership remains a critical area of academic and public policy focus in the Pacific. In this In Brief, Baker and Palmieri consider an alternate and potentially rather ‘macabre’ pathway (Kincaid 1978), albeit one which sheds light on the cultural and political economies of elections in the Pacific and which they believe requires further elucidation: the election of wives and widows of former members of parliament.

Author: Kerryn Baker, Sonia Palmieri

Institution: ANU Department of Political Affairs

Date: July 10, 2020

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Why A Temporary Special Measure Is Needed In Papua New Guinea’s Parliament

Why A Temporary Special Measure Is Needed In Papua New Guinea’s Parliament

This paper is based on a desktop review and findings from a study carried out by Fairio and others on women in the 2017 national elections and women in the local-level government elections.
The study finds that women face immense challenges when contesting elections. The continuous trend of underrepresentation of women in parliament is a major concern for PNG as a democratic nation. Without any interventions to address the gender gap in parliament, this trend is likely to continue for the next 40 years too. A holistic approach, especially political will and support, is needed to improve the under-representation of women in parliament. This paper emphasises the need to implement a TSM to address the long-standing under-representation of women in the PNG parliament.

Author: Mary Fairio

Institution: PNG National Research Institute

Date: July 31, 2020

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Attitudes Towards Women’s Political Participation in Solomon Islands

Attitudes Towards Women’s Political Participation in Solomon Islands

The ANU’s Department of Pacific Affairs ran a large-scale election observation exercise in Solomon Islands prior to, during and following national elections held on 3 April 2019. Observations were conducted in 15 of Solomon Islands’ 50 constituencies by 90 observers, of which 77 were Solomon Islanders. The research comprised direct election observations and almost 5000 citizen surveys. This In Brief is part of a series highlighting key findings that draws on data canvassed in their final election observation report.

Author: Colin Wiltshire, James Batley, Joanne Ridolfi, Athena Rogers

Institution: ANU Department of Political Affairs

Date: September 21, 2020

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Women’s Candidacy and the Power of Incumbency in the 2019 Solomon Islands Election

Women’s Candidacy and the Power of Incumbency in the 2019 Solomon Islands Election

The 2019 Solomon Islands election marked the first time in the country’s history that two women were elected to parliament in a general election. Lanelle Tanangada, who had been elected in the 2018 by-election for the Gizo/Kolombangara seat formerly held by her husband, fended off another strong challenge from former prime minister Gordon Darcy Lilo to keep the seat. Freda Tuki Soriacomua, who won the Temotu Vatud seat in 2014 but was removed from office in 2018 following a court challenge, regained her seat in 2019. While this is a milestone, the under-representation of women in Solomon Islands politics is a continued tradition. As of October 2019, women make up just 4% of members of the national parliament, and around 2% of provincial assembly members. This In Brief examines trends and patterns from the 2019 Solomon Islands election and their effect on women’s representation.

Author: Kerryn Baker

Institution: ANU Department of Pacific Affairs

Date: April 16, 2020

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IPU/UN Women “Women in politics: 2019” map

IPU/UN Women “Women in politics: 2019” map

The “Women in politics: 2019" map, created by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women, depicts global rankings for women in the executive and parliamentary branches of government as of 1 January 2019. The map shows progress towards gender equality in these areas at regional and national levels.

Author: N/A

Institution: Inter-Parliamentary Union & UN Women

Date: March 12, 2019

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Effective Support for Women’s Leadership in the Pacific: Lessons from the Evidence

Effective Support for Women’s Leadership in the Pacific: Lessons from the Evidence

Improving women’s leadership prospects in the Pacific is a priority for development organisations – but, after years of efforts to understand and help overcome the barriers that women face - what actually works? Elise Howard’s paper, released on the International Women’s Day, unpacks how to understand leadership in the Pacific and draws conclusions on the lessons that can be learnt from decades of work.

Author: Elise Howard

Institution: ANU Department of Pacific Affairs

Date: March 8, 2019

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Women’s Representation in the 2018 Fiji Election

Women’s Representation in the 2018 Fiji Election

Fiji went to the polls on 14 November 2018. Women were key players in the 2018 election as both voters and candidates. While women have historically been under-represented in Fijian politics, the 2018 election brought a record number into parliament, where women now hold 10 of the 51 seats. This In Brief examines how women candidates performed in the election and what lessons this might hold for further increasing women’s participation in politics in the future.

Author: Kerryn Baker

Institution: ANU Department of Pacific Affairs

Date: February 25, 2019

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Being the First: Women Leaders in the Pacific Islands

Being the First: Women Leaders in the Pacific Islands

Women in the Pacific face many barriers women to participating in formal politics. Yet some defy these barriers, are elected to parliament, and achieve high office. This paper describes the experiences of three such women: President Hilda Heine from the Marshall Islands; the Honorable Fiame Naomi Mata’afa from Samoa; and Dame Carol Kidu from Papua New Guinea. It is part of the Developmental Leadership Program Gender and Politics in Practice series.

Author: Ceridwen Spark, John Cox, Jack Corbett

Institution: Developmental Leadership Program

Date: February 22, 2018

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