16 Nov 2015

Vanuatu women push for reserved seats in parliament

3:12 pm on 16 November 2015

The chief executive of Vanuatu's National Council of Women says the country's male politicians must recognise the rights of women to be in parliament.

The NGO staged a forum last week to help women planning to stand in the next election, due next year.

Leas Cullwick says they want to make women aware of what they need to do to be effective candidates.

She says they will need reserved seats to be set up as laid out in the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, or CEDAW.

Ms Cullwick says the current system of political parties forces women to contest as independents.

"The men and the political parties - there is no accountability and transparency in their actions, so the only way forward, the women see it, is to apply the CEDAW Convention Article 4 of the special temporary measure, to be enforced."

Vanuatu market women form the first Silae Vanua Association under UN Women's Markets for Change project.

Photo: RNZI Courtesy of UN Women