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Archived News: September 2023

FFrom Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (29 September 2023)

The King's Birthday and Coronation Honours List 2023 - Citations for Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit

Ofa Dewes Investiture
Ofa Dewes with Governor General of New Zealand, Her Excellency Dame Cindy Kiro after receiving the insignia as Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to health and the Pacific community. The ceremony took place at Government House in Wellington on 26 September 2003, 3 p.m.

From Fiji Times (28 September 2023)

Calls to reserve seats for females

By Pauliasi Mateboto

Mosmi Bhim

Calls have been made for the reservation of female seats during the municipal elections.

During the Local Government Electoral Process public consultations, FNU lecturer Mosmi Bhim said it was time to change the statistics in Fiji and allow for more female representation in positions of power and decision-making.

Ms Bhim said Fiji had one of the lowest numbers in the world in terms of women representation at only 9 per cent.

She said it was time to shift that statistics and follow in the footsteps of India, which recently passed a Bill for the reservation of seats for women, especially for marginalised societies, in its Parliament.

"We all know that the reason women are not standing in elections is because they bear the disproportionally high rate of care responsibilities in the house and it is for those reasons that women are not coming forward to stand in elections," Ms Bhim said, adding that reservations be made for minority groups such as Rotumans.

"With regards to reservation, I still stand by my point that for some groups, there needs to be reservations made," Ms Bhim added.

"For example, Rotumans are an indigenous group, and they comprise a very small amount of our population. The people need to get some form of reservation for very small minority groups."

Ms Bhim's submission was supported by Shiva Maharaj, who said as the world embarks on the journey in the new era of the empowerment of women, Fiji must do the same.

However, while opposing the views put forward by the pair, Josaia Gonewai of the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA), said that in the past women preferred to vote for male candidates, therefore the proposal wouldn't advance the representation of women.

Mr Gonewai said in a democracy it was normal to allow individuals to vote for their choice of candidates, regardless of gender.

He urged NGOs and civil society organisations to create more advocacy in the area if they want more women represented.

From Stuff (12 September 2023)

Rotumans want better services and the government promises to deliver