12 Aug 2011

Call for quicker integration of women into Kiribati politics

10:21 am on 12 August 2011

A former president of Kiribati says more women are needed in parliament.

Women from all over Kiribati are being encouraged to run for the imminent national elections, after taking part in parliamentary training and mock-parliament sessions.

Former President and current MP for Nonouti Island, Ieremia Tabai says out of the 44 current MPs, only three are women.

"I feel that in the context of our situation where half of our population are women, I think that it makes sense that we have more women in parliament. But the fact that we have so few is a reflection of our own situation here where the women I think are consigned to be at home all the time and so on. But things are changing now."

Ieremia Tabai says it is inevitable that more women will eventually be elected as MPs but believes the process must be sped up.

The training and mock-parliament were supported by the Pacific Islands Forum and the UNDP.