This article from January 2016 preceded the election in which no women got into parliament. The article says that perhaps just 11 women were standing as candidates.
However, this seeming diversity masks the lack of representation of different demographic groupings within Parliament: women, young people, people with disability, religious minorities and other groups that are not part of the mostly male political elite are effectively excluded. The omission of a significant proportion of the population disadvantages Vanuatu’s national development, because their contributions and needs are left out of the political debate.
The final list of political candidates in the upcoming 2016 national election is yet to be announced, but already rumours are circulating that there will be fewer women candidates contesting this election than ever before – an informal count of candidate lists published to date suggests only 11 women candidates.
This is a worrying trend. Despite dedicated efforts over the years by the Vanuatu Department of Women’s Affairs and women’s groups, the active political participation of women remains an unfulfilled hope.
Image used in original article attributed to Vanuatu Department of Women's Affairs