What about women? : Party views

Parties on empowering women In recognition of women’s contribution to the running of the country, the political parties have vowed to empower women and uphold their rights. The Social Democratic
20 Aug 2014 15:50
What about women? : Party views

Parties on empowering women

In recognition of women’s contribution to the running of the country, the political parties have vowed to empower women and uphold their rights.

The Social Democratic Liberal Party, National Federation Party, Fiji Labour Party, People’s Democratic Party and FijiFirst have acknowledged the role women play in their various manifestos.

Here is an overview of what the parties have in their manifestos to strengthen women and their rights.


The Social Democratic Liberal Party claimed that the Bainimarama government had failed to provide a coordinated plan for the development of women. It also said there were no specific provisions for the development and empowerment of women in the 2013 Constitution.

The party also claimed that there was no attempt to encourage the increasing participation of women in the public service and statutory boards. Likewise, there was no control and reduction in violence against women.

Meanwhile, it said a SODELPA government would:

  • Ensure that their development objectives encourage the participation of women in the economic, social and political development of Fiji, on an equal basis with men without discrimination of any kind;
  • Ensure the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women;
  • Ensure that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is implemented and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) pursued;
  • Aim for a minimum of 30 per cent of women in parliament, statutory boards, public service, local government councils and in government-owned companies;
  • Mainstream gender issues and concerns into all national, district and local development in particular in the area of economic and social development.
  • Establish legislation to effectively deal with violence and crimes against women and children;
  • Strengthen existing women’s fora and networks at national, district and local level that are engaged in capacity building and empowerment programmes;
  • Promote women in leadership and in their empowerment.


The Fiji Labour Party claimed that the 2013 Constitution brought about by the Bainimarama government had been glaringly silent on women.

They would set targets to ensure a significant and sustained increase of women in national leadership positions in parliament and at local government level, over a set period of time.

The party also highlighted in its manifesto that it would adopt temporary special measures as a policy to encourage more women to come forward to take up leadership positions. The party believes that women can no longer afford to be bystanders to and victims of many dimensions of human insecurity – financial, political, health and personal which they say had been generated by the current state of political and governance structure.


FijiFirst candidate, Dr Jiko Luveni in most of her campaign meetings, reiterated that the role of women and their rights were inclusive in the 2013 Constitution.


The People’s Democratic Party recognises the efforts and roles played by women in our society and they would work with major stakeholders to promote gender equality in all sectors.

As a priority, it says the party would focus on:

  • Mainstreaming gender in all national and sub- national policies;
  • Increasing to 30 per cent women’s participation at all levels of decision- making including national, sub- national and corporate entities;
  • Ensure economic empowerment for women and developing a comprehensive response to eliminating violence against women;
  • Vigorously monitoring and evaluating progress in achieving gender equality.


The National Federation Party would promote gender equality in accessing productive resources, economic opportunities and decision making at all levels. This will contribute to higher economic productivity and wellbeing for all and commit stronger initiatives for gender equality for women in the country.

The party highlighted that it would reform existing policies and programmes to strengthen the voice and participation of women in households, communities and in society.

They also said they would primarily concentrate on five pillars for achieving gender equality and empowerment of women:

  • Reducing gender based violence;
  • Strengthening women endowments and economic opportunities;
  • Strengthening the legal and institutional environment;
  • Transforming social norms and practices;
  • Taking measures to enable women’s participation in the policy domain by creating space for women’s collective action.

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