NRI finds reasons that keep women out of House


Only seven women have entered Parliament since independence due to technical issues, according to a report presented by the National Research Institute (NRI).
The report by NRI’s research fellow on its gender programme, Mary Fairio, said that if these technical issues were not addressed, women’s representation in Parliament would not improve.
“Some of these issues include the number of ballot papers not in proportion with the eligible voter turnout, electoral boundaries overlap, lack of proper identification and the fact that women are intimidated, and undue influence by male relatives and their husbands on whom to vote for,” Fairio said.
“Despite the first time application of an express line for women voters (in the 2017 national election), there was still intimidation.”
Fairio’s research paper also recommended that there should be a lobby for political support to amend the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates to include 20 per cent endorsement of women candidates in political parties in the next election.
The report highlighted that only 61 women candidates were endorsed by political parties.
“Of the 167 women candidates who registered for the 2017 national general election only 61 were endorsed by political parties,” the report said.
“However, there was little to no support from the political parties that endorsed the women candidates.”
Fairio also said that the common roll should be updated.
She said the government should also consider electronic voting to cut out multiple voting and inconsistency in roll updates.