WCCC MEDIA RELEASE
Great opportunity for Prime Minister to appoint a female to Ministerial post
[NUKU’ALOFA 10 February 2016] There is no better time than the present for the Prime Minister to consider appointing a female to a Ministerial portfolio, following the dismissal of ‘Etuate Lavulavu from his Ministerial portfolio.
A little more than 12 months ago, Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva received his first petition from the public calling for the appointment of women to Ministerial posts. This came after no woman was elected into parliament following the 2014 General Elections. The petition asked that the PM use his prerogative under the law to appoint up to four Ministerial posts externally.
In response to the petition holding 416 signatures gathered less than 48 hours, the PM told the petitioners to come up with legislation to change the situation in preparation for the next general elections.
In Tonga’s Political history the late Queen Salote and her government had given women the right to vote and stand as candidates since 1951. From 1951, it took 8 parliamentary terms or another 24 years before we saw the first women elected into Parliament and that was HRH Princess Mele Siu’ilikutapu in 1975-1978 as one of the People’s Representatives from Tongatapu
- Three years later in 1978-1981 or the next parliamentary session – the second women elected into parliament, People’s Representative of Tongatapu, Papiloa Foliaki
- From 1981, 14 years later for the period of 1995-1998: the third women elected into parliament and first women to be elected as PR to the Niuas, ‘Ofa Fusitu’a
- From 1998, seven years later for the period of 2005-2008: the fourth and currently the last women elected into parliament – Niuas PR, Lepolo Mahe Taunisila
- and in the last two general elections under the new democratic reforms no women have been elected in, so we could say that from 2008 (the last elections under the old system) plus the 2010 and 2014 general election a total of 6 years we have no women elected into parliament by the people
So in summary since 1951 up until the last general elections held in 2014 a total of 63 years, there have only ever been four women elected by the people into parliament.
A group that has been formed on Facebook called TONGAN WOMEN IN ACTION is a social network open to all Tongan women in Tonga, New Zealand, United States of America, United Kingdom and the diaspora, women living or residing in Tonga and male friends, colleagues, partners who support the cause of increasing women’s political participation. Their one mission: To build solidarity amongst women in progressing women’s political participation in Tonga. Director of the Women and Children Crisis Centre (WCCC) and one of the facilitators of the groups says that the WCCC has been undertaking research into the what best model for Tonga would look like in terms of affirmative action and Temporary Special Measure, “yes we are doing research and we won’t have the results and recommendations ready until the later part of this year – but this is a great opportunity – right now – for the PM to re-look at the possibilities emerging out of the current situation to appoint a female to a Ministerial post”, says ‘Ofa Guttenbeil Likiliki.
Faingamalie lelei ki he Palemia ke ne fokotu’u ha fefine
ki he tu’unga Minisita
[NUKU’ALOFA 10 Fepueli 2016] Ko e taimi lelei taha pe eni ‘ae lolotonga ni ke ngaaue’aki ‘ehe Palemia ‘a hono mafai ke fokotu’u ki he ‘Ene ‘Afio ha fefine kihe lakanga Minisita ‘e taha ‘i he ‘ene Kapineti ‘i he mahino mai kuo tuku ki tu’a ‘a ‘Etuate Lavulavu mei hono lakanga Minisita.
‘I ha ki’i taimi nounou ‘i he mahina ‘e 12 kuohili, na’e ma’u ai ‘e he ‘Eiki Palemia ‘a e fuofua tohi tangi mei he kakai ke fili ha fefine ki he lakanga Minisita. Na’e hoko eni hili ia ‘a e ‘ikai ke fili ha fefine ki Fale Alea ‘i he Fili ‘o e 2014. Koe tohi tangi, ko e kole ki he Palemia ke ne ngaue’aki hono mafai ‘i he malumalu ‘o e lao ke fili ha lakanga Minisita ‘e toko 4 mei tu’a.
‘I he tali ki he tohi tangi na’e fakamo’oni ki ai ‘ae toko 416 ‘i hono tanaki pe ‘i loto ‘i he houa ‘e 48, na’e me’a ai ‘a e Palemia ki he ni’ihi na’a nau fakahu atu ‘a e tohi tangi ke nau fokotu’u mai ha lao ke liliu ‘aki ‘ae tu’unga ‘oku ‘i ai ke fai ha vakai ki ai ki mu’a pea toki fakahoko ‘ae fili falealea hoko.
‘I he hisitolia fakapolitikale ‘a Tonga, ko e pule’anga ‘o Kuini Salote kuo unga fonua, na’a ne ‘oange ‘a e totonu ma’ae kakai fefine kenau fili pea ke nau hoko ko ha kanititeiti ‘i he 1951. Mei he 1951, ko e to’u fili falealea fakakatoa ‘e 8 pe koe toe ta’u ‘e 24 ia kimu’a pea tau toki a’usia hono fili ha fefine ki Fale Alea ‘a ia ko Pilinisesi Mele Siu’ilikutapu Kalaniuvalu Fotofili ‘ihe 1975-1978 ke hoko ko e taha ‘o e kau fakafofonga ‘o e kakai ‘o Tongatapu;
- Hili ha ta’u ‘e 3 mei ai, ‘i he 1978-1981 pe ko e to’u fili hono hoko, na’e fili ai ‘a e fefine hono ua ki falealea, ko e fakafofonga ‘o e kakai ‘o Tongatapu, Papiloa Foliaki
- Mei he 1981, hili ia ‘a e ta’u ‘e 14 mei he ta’u 1995-1998, na’e fili ai ‘a e fefine hono tolu ki Fale Alea pea ko e fakafofonga ‘o e kakai kihe ongo Niua, ‘Ofa Fusitu’a
- Mei he 1998, hili ia ‘a e ta’u ‘e 7 mei he 2005-2008, ko e fefine hono fa ia pea ko e fefine fakamuimui taha ia kuo fili ki Fale Alea, pea na’a ne hoko ko e fakafofonga ‘o e kakai ‘o e ongo Niua, Lepolo Mahe Taunisila
- pea ‘i he ongo to’u fili ‘e ua kuo’osi ‘i he fa’unga temokalati fo’ou, na’e ‘ikai ha fefine ‘e fili ki loto. Ko ia ai, ‘e lava ke tau pehe, mei he 2008 (ko e fili fakamuimui taha ‘i he fa’unga pule’anga motu’a) tanaki atu ki ai ‘a e to’u fili ‘o e 2010 mo e 2014, ko e ta’u fakakatoa ia ‘e 6 na’e ‘ikai ai ha fefine ‘e fili ki Fale Alea ‘e he kakai.
Koia ‘i hono fakama’opo’opo talu mei he 1951 ‘o a’u mai ki he to’u fili fakamuimui taha ‘ihe 2014, ko e ta’u fakakatoa ia ‘e 63, pea ko e toko fa pe ai ‘a e kakai fefine kuo fili ‘e he kakai ki Fale Alea.
Na’e fo’u ha kulupu fengaue’aki fakasosiale ‘i he Feisipuka ‘o fakalea ko e KAKAI FEFINE TONGA KE NGAUE pe ‘i he faka-Pilitania TONGAN WOMEN IN ACTION, ‘o faka’ata ki ha fefine Tonga pe ‘i Tonga ni, Nu’u Sila, ‘Aositelelia, ‘Amelika, Pilitania mo ha feitu’u pe ‘oku nofo ai ha fefine Tonga, kaungame’a tangata, kaunga ngaue, hoa ngaue ‘oku teke mo poupou’i ke toe fakalakalaka ange ‘a e kau ‘a fefine ‘i he mala’e ‘o e politikale. Ko ‘enau misiona: Ke langa hake ke tu’u fakataha ‘ae uouongataha ‘a fafine ‘i hono fakalakalaka ‘enau kau atu ki he mala’e ‘oe politikale ‘i Tonga.
Fakatatau ki he Talekita ‘oe Women and Children Crisis Centre, ko e taha ‘o e kau Taki ‘o e fevahevahe’aki ‘i he kulupu ni, ‘oku fakahoko ‘e he Senita ‘a e fekumi pe ko e ha ha founga pe motolo lelei taha ma’a Tonga ‘i hono ngaue’aki ‘o ha sea fakataimi ma’a e kakai fefine ‘i he fili falealea, “’io ‘oku lolotonga fai ‘emau fekumi ki ai ka ‘e toki mahino ‘ae ola pea mo e ngaahi fokotu’u fakakaukau ‘i he konga kimui ‘o e ta’u ni, ka koe faingamalie lelei eni ‘i he lolotonga ni ma’a e Palemia ke ne toe vakai’i e faingamalie ko eni ‘e malava ai kene fokotu’u ha fefine ki he lakanga Minisita, ko e lau ia ‘a ‘Ofa Guttenbeil Likiliki.