‘Only at kitchen table’

Suva lawyer Barbara Malimali. Picture: FILE

It looks like the only table they want us at is the kitchen table.

This was what Suva lawyer Barbara Malimali said about the disparity in the representation of women in important institutions like the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC), judiciary, and in the various arms of government.

In a Facebook post, Ms Malimali said the ratio of the sexes in Fiji in 2021 was 102.53 males for every 100 females, with there being about 460,000 men and 450,000 women in Fiji.

“The percentage of the female population is 49.38 per cent compared to the 50.62 per cent male population,” she said.

“Fiji has 11.27 thousand (13,970) more males than females.”

She questioned why the proportion of women, who represented 49 per cent of Fiji’s population, was not reflected in leadership.

“Why aren’t there any women on the GCC?

“Why are there only two women in the judiciary?

“Do the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption, and the Solicitor General’s Office have women in the topmost positions?

“What about those in the second layer of leadership?

“Why don’t the boards and committees have at least 49 per cent women?

“I suspect the answer is mostly no and they will try to deflect my question by saying that we have an acting this or that.”

Ms Malimali said the politicians wanted women’s votes but it did not seem like they wanted to give them a seat at the table.

“It looks like the only table they want us at is the kitchen table.”

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