24 Oct 2011

Call in Kiribati for reserved seats in Parliament for women

3:08 pm on 24 October 2011

A candidate in the Kiribati parliamentary elections is calling for reserved seats for women.

Around half the country's seats were decided in the first round of voting over the weekend, and the remaining seats will be decided on Friday.

Of the seats that have been decided, only two women have so far been elected.

The candidate, Maere Tekanene, faces a second round in the hard-fought electorate of TUC, and says Kiribati needs more women in parliament.

"I have been advocating that we have reserved seats in parliament but I haven't really seen [a] positive response. Even from very educated women around here in Kiribati. They'll respond first by saying but we're not forbidden to contest under the current law."

Maere Tekanene says she will continue to push for reserved seats for women whether or not she is elected on Friday.