The Prime Minister of the Cook Islands says more women should run for Parliament but need to get there on their own merits.
Henry Puna says he strongly encourages women to take up positions of power in Cook Islands communities.
But he says he disagrees with others about how women may get to those positions of power.
He says the women themselves are the ones who are asking not to have special preferences.
Henry Puna says he has appointed many women to senior positions within departments.
"My guiding principle is the fact that when consultations were undertaken in my country, in connection with the adoption of the Cedaw convention, our women folk spoke out very clearly, that they don't want preferential treatment, for them to advance, particularly into Parliament. They would prefer to get there on their own merits."
The Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna.