Forum supports women in polls

SODELPA candidate Tanya Waqanika speaking to the residents of Nanuku Settlement in Vatuwaqa last month. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

THE Fiji Women’s Forum has welcomed the announcement of women candidates who will be contesting in this year’s general election.

In a statement released last week, the forum said it stood by its position on the enhancement of women’s participation in decision making and democratisation processes.

“This is an exciting time to see an increase in the number of women contesting for this general elections,” the co-convenors of the forum said.

“In 2014, the involvement of 18 per cent of women compared to 2018 with 24 per cent of women contesting.

“There is an increase of 6 per cent with the hope of seeing more women get voted into Parliament in ensuring greater accountability to gender equality commitments.”

The forum is made up of four women’s organisations in Fiji — the National Council of Women Fiji, Soqosoqo Vakamarama iTaukei, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement and femLINK Pacific — which have forged a collaboration since 2012 to address the issue of under-representation of women in all spheres.

This is directly linked to many of the challenges which women face, including the struggles with conflict and democratisation.