Women in the House (of Parliament) in Fiji: What’s Gender Got to Do with It?

Priya Chattier

Women in Fiji have made steady, albeit slow, progress in terms of parliamentary representation, with women now holding 14% of seats in the lower house of parliament. Some of the progress has occurred as a result of improvements associated with increased socio-economic development, such as education, female employment and incremental changes in women’s standing in Fiji society. Much of this change, however, has been due to women’s movements and civil society activism becoming more astute to concerns of gender equality and lobbying for women’s political participation. In a country that witnessed four political coups, women have had to create their own path into the public sphere. Despite progress, with an increasing number of women in the 2014 parliament, patriarchy is still a major force hindering women’s political advancement in Fiji. This paper argues that a combination of cultural stereotyping and persistent gendered norms contribute to masculinisation of the political realm and eulogise women’s role in the private sphere. But gender intersecting with ethnicity, age and class create differential levels of political agency for different groups of women in Fiji.

Research Type(s)
Report – Not peer reviewed
Submitted by Toksave
March 21, 2021
Published in
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