8 Jan 2016

Only eight women contest Vanautu election

3:09 pm on 8 January 2016

One of only eight women candidates standing in Vanuatu's snap elections says political parties are making it too difficult for women to participate.

In 2012, 10 women contested the election, but none of them was elected to parliament.

This year, 183 candidates are standing, with the Electoral Commission expected to release a final list tonight that could potentially add 80 more.

The sole female candidate in Port Vila, Nadia Kanegai, who is standing for the People's Progressive Party of the caretaker prime minister Sato Kilman, says women are keen to participate in politics.

But she says it's often too hard to break into male-dominated political parties.

"They do not give the opportunity for women to participate because it's a male-dominated society, the parties look more into males. So, for women to continue to push to participate, they have to work really hard."

Nadia Kanegai says women have a wealth of experience they can offer Vanuatu, but they need to be given the chance to participate.

Nadia Kanegai

Nadia Kanegai Photo: RNZI Hilaire Bule