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Women in politics

Nasik Swami
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

THE Fiji Labour Party is committed to initiating policies to address the concerns faced by women in the country.

Party president Lavinia Padarath said the party would set targets to ensure there was significant and sustained increase of women in national leadership positions in parliament and at local government level.

Mrs Padarath said with women making almost 50 per cent of the country's population, they must receive due recognition in their aspirations for economic and political empowerment.

"The FLP fully supports the voice of women in Fiji for social justice, gender equality, democracy and respect for human rights," she said.

Mrs Padarath said a significant number of women remained largely impoverished.

"As workers, they are subjected to low pays, gender inequality and sexual exploitation. At home they are subjected to domestic violence. FLP will adopt temporary special measures as a policy to encourage more women to come forward to take up leadership positions."

She said the party believed women could no longer afford to be bystanders and victims of many dimensions of human insecurity.

"FLP is also fully committed as a government, to use its power not as an instrument of domination and exclusion as is currently the case, but as an instrument of liberation, inclusion and equality."

Areas of concern to FLP:

* Increased cases of reported violence against women and children;

* In factories, shops and offices and as domestic workers, women employees are generally paid below poverty line wages;

* Feminisation of poverty has become critical; and

* Gender disparity in parliament where there is a critically low representation of women, despite the good number of highly qualified women professionals, business women and NGO leaders in Fiji.

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