22 Sep 2017

Fiji women's council calls for female seats in parliament

7:57 pm on 22 September 2017

Fiji's National Council of Women has launched a campaign to have five seats added to parliament for women.

The council's general secretary Fay Volatabu said the current system was unfair for women and special provisions needed to be implemented.

Fay Volatabu

Fay Volatabu Photo: National Federation Party

There are currently eight women in the 50 seat parliament, but Ms Volatabu said that did not reflect the number of women in society.

The government had said it was aiming for 30 per cent female representation in the future, but Ms Volatabu said women's seats should be added until women make up 50 per cent of parliament.

She said the government did not support additional seats for women, so her council would also try to make potential female candidates more visible to the public.

"They were not familiar enough for people to vote so that is why our campaign now for the National Council of Women is to try and make women more visible in the media," said Ms Volatabu.

"So that when it comes time for political parties to start looking for candidates, they approach women that are already visible in the public eye," she said.

"Because sometimes that is one of the biggest issues, women are modest and then because of the cultural constraints they feel that let the man go to the front."