Solomon Islands debates women’s quota

July 20, 2010, midnight

Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Fred FONO on Tuesday said he would consider creating up to four reserved seats for women in Parliament, but if women perform well in upcoming elections, the reserved seats may not be necessary. The Solomon Islands will hold parliamentary elections on August 4. 509 candidates will contest 50 seats, and 25 of those candidates are female. The government previously rejected a proposal from female advocacy groups that would have created ten reserved seats for women. FONO said that ten was too many and suggested two or four. Only one woman has won an election to Parliament in the country’s history.

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