Radio New Zealand reports that Vanuatu a constitutional amendment is proposed to provide reserved seats for women in parliament. This follows the January 2016 election which saw no women elected to parliament.
Vanuatu's Justice Minister says the Council of Ministers has approved a constitutional amendment to allow for reserved seats for women in Parliament.
Ronald Warsal says he expects a bill to amend the constitution to be ready for an upcoming sitting of Parliament, which is scheduled to begin on the June 10.
The Daily Post reports he made the announcement at a screening of the film,The Suffragettes, which recounts the story of British women's struggle to get the vote in the 20th century.
From the ABC
Vanuatu's Government says it will pass a constitutional amendment to reserve seats in Parliament for women, months after a national election in which none of the nine female candidates were successful. Justice Minister Ronald Warsal told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat the Government believed direct action was needed and would introduce amendments as early as next month.
"Women have tried over the years [to win office]. In the last election, some women contested for political parties and some stood as independents ... but it's quite difficult," he said.
It has been over 10 years since we have had a woman in Parliament. It is clearly hard for women to win seats in Vanuatu.Ronald Warsal, Vanuatu Justice Minister
Nine women stood as candidates in Vanuatu's national elections earlier this year but failed to win a seat. Mr Warsal said the Government had not yet determined how many seats will be reserved for women or whether they would be in addition to the Parliament's current 52 seats. But he hopes to finalise details before Parliament next sits on 10 June. "It has been over 10 years since we have had a woman in parliament," he said.
Update 23 May 2016