25 Oct 2010

Ten women contesting Tonga poll

2:37 pm on 25 October 2010

There are hopes that two or three women will be voted into the Tongan Parliament next month when the country embraces greater democracy.

Of the 147 candidates who've registered, ten are women.

Five are with the Tonga Democratic Labour Party, including Betty Blake from the NGO, Ma'a Fafine Moe Famili.

She says they expected more than ten women to register, but says it's a continual struggle convincing them to stand.

"We have been trying very hard to advocate and promote women to stand but at the end of the day only a few of us have made the challenge, which is not easy in our society which is a very patriarchal society."

Betty Blake says they think women can win up to three of the 17 seats to be decided by the people.