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Fiji Time: 8:22 PM on Tuesday 23 September

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Women have a say

Nasik Swami
Monday, March 24, 2014

WHILE the participation of women in politics has always been a topic of discussion, academic and economist Professor Wadan Narsey believes women are not just a half of the population but a half of all voters.

Prof Narsey said women were potentially the most powerful voting block in any election.

"Unfortunately for themselves, women rarely, if ever, vote as a block," he said.

Prof Narsey said it was important for women to know what political parties had to offer in real practical terms that would make a difference to their lives, and decide which party they vote for.

"We can start with these elections and formation of Cabinet, but there are far more important issues relating to jobs, incomes, household work and leisure."

He said with the current government having only one woman in Cabinet, other governments may have been a bit better — none gave a fair go at having a good balance of women in their election line-ups or in their cabinets.

Prof Narsey questioned what would be the gender balance of all the political parties in the forthcoming election.

"Much will depend on whether the electoral system has a 'closed list' (in which case women can be properly represented at the top for each party) or an 'open list' in which case women will struggle as they always have."


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