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Women In Politics: Bhagwan-Rolls

Women In Politics: Bhagwan-Rolls
September 20
09:20 2014

The 2014 General Elections was an important opportunity to make progress towards the increase in participation of women as voters and candidates, says femLINK Pacific executive director Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls.

“We congratulate all the candidates on their individual success in this historic election,” Ms Bhagwan-Rolls said.

She said this was a very exciting time for Fiji and this was one of the highest ever participation of female voters and candidates, which reflected the change in mindsets.

“More women in politics will influence the political agenda at higher levels.”

Ms Bhagwan-Rolls said Fiji had active political parties and each of them had vibrant systems to work with.

“Despite the fact that more numbers of women are elected in this election compared in the 2006 elections, there is still a need for improvement,” she said.

FemLINK Pacific executive director Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls.

FemLINK Pacific executive director Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls.

She said one of the challenges was that women, mostly in rural areas, were under-represented which a loss to society was.

“We need to work very closely with the rural communities.”

Ms Bhagwan-Rolls said they started Fiji Women’s Forum in 2012, which was a programme to look for the capacity for potential candidates.

“This is the result of the work done through the programme and it is also reaffirming the need for women’s caucus.”

She said it was about the women advancing the gender equality or gender in Parliament.

“We hope that all the successful candidates who will go into Parliament will address the issues that are paramount to women and their needs.”

She said they wanted to see a strong group and a strong caucus that women who would see an important collaboration issues that would be the way forward.

“There is a need to address issues affecting the senior citizens, the youths of this country, the disabled persons, environmental issues, health among others.”

She said everybody needed to work together because a balanced participation by women and men in decision-making would produce different ideas, values and styles of behaviour suited to a fairer and more balanced country.

“This election is historic and momentous and it is very important for everyone to respect the final results.”




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