25 Nov 2011

Tonga NGO pushes for more women MPs

1:25 pm on 25 November 2011

A non-government organisation in Tonga wants moves made to ensure more women are elected to parliament.

This comes a year after new elections saw the majority of MPs chosen by the people for the first time.

But only one woman is in the legislature, and this as the result of an appointment made by prime minister, Lord Tu'ivakano.

The head of the Women's and Children's Crisis Centre, Ofa ki-Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki says since 1951 when women got the vote in Tonga, just four women have been elected to Parliament and this must change.

She says reserved seats for women should be put in place.

"And if we can show that women can be part of the political debate, that women can lead this country, then it will start changing the attitudes and behaviour of voters when they go to the voting booth, because it is still a very massive attitudinal outcome why women do not get into parliament. And it's a sad reality, I mean just like everywhere else in the Pacific."

Ofa ki-Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki