August 25, 2015
In 2012, Pacific leaders came together to declare their commitment to improving women’s leadership in the region. Since then, women’s political participation has risen by just over 6%. While there have been some memorable achievements such as the successful election of Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women program participant, Josephine Getsi winning a contested seat in Bougainville, the appointment of the first female Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Dame Meg Taylor, and the inclusion of eight women MPs in the most recent Fiji election, women’s political representation is well below parity.
Despite gains, it is clear that more work must be done to realise this commitment and ensure that progress continues. While women in Fiji and Bougainville have become mobilised in politics, women in Solomon Islands Parliament remain severely underrepresented at 50 to one.