14 Nov 2012

Vanuatu's Shefa province to set aside quarter of seats for women

2:06 pm on 14 November 2012

Shefa Province will become the first council in Vanuatu to reserve seats for women in the January elections.

The council has tried twice before to reserve seats for women and failed.

Next year, it will reserve a quarter of the seats on its 18-member council for women candidates.

The council's secretary general, Michel Kalworai, says under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, it has a policy of getting women into political roles.

"There's a need to have women politicians inside the province for decision making and policy decisions. Shefa is the only one taking the lead in this. Shefa is always the leading province in Vanuatu, and when we do this the other provinces follow suit, but the other provinces have some issues with customs and traditions, and men are always the first priority in the province."

Shefa Provincial council head, Michel Kalworai.