Voters in the Vaimauga Districts are calling to repeal the constitutional 10 percent quota for women members of Parliament.
During its Electoral Commission of Inquiry as mandated after every election, the Vaimauaga, voters voiced their concerns to members of the Commission to remove the 10% quota and allow women to run for office on their own merits, similar to men.
They claim the 10% constitutional mandate has created a lot of problems including the recent political crisis after the general election last April.
Talamua reported that Ane Uele of Faatoia said given what happened to the women members after last year’s general election, the 10% quota has become a joke and has belittled the respect for women.
Faatagata Taualofa of Vaimauga No 3 told the Commission that it was a good initiative when it started but it was open to political manipulation to secure party seats. He argued that the system has reduced the respect for a woman who comes through the 10% quota versus the elected member of a respective constituency. Taualofa argued that the status of both members is not the same.
Piti Seumanutafa of Apia supports the view that women should be elected on merits. “We have a woman Prime Minister and a woman Minister for Finance for the first time and they did it on their own merits.”