Women casting their votes in large numbers

Timaima Vulimailaucala told RNZ Pacific that today is the most important day for all Fijians.

"It is an important processor as citizens to come forward and cast your vote because whichever government of the day gets elected is because of your effort to cast your vote and make it known that this is what you wanted.

"There's a long queue here, people are going away because of the queue but I would recommend or ask them to come back. This is the only day that you can make a change.

Women more likely to suffer from Long Covid - US study

The study, published in peer-reviewed journal Current Medical Research and Opinion, found women were significantly more likely to suffer from Long Covid than men.

Conducted by researchers from the Johnson & Johnson Office of the Chief Medical Officer health of women team in the US, the study analysed data from about 1.3 million patients.

It found women with Long Covid were presenting with a variety of symptoms including ear, nose, and throat issues; mood, neurological, skin, gastrointestinal and rheumatological disorders; as well as fatigue.

No women elected in Tonga: time to change the story

Out of a total of 38,500 votes, 34,198 were cast for the male candidates and only 4,352 were cast for the 12 female candidates, down from 14% of total votes in 2017 to 11% in 2021. The only female MP incumbent running, Losaline Ma’asi, did not make it for a second term. At the 2017 snap elections she won 35% (1,034) of the total number of votes in her constituency Tongatapu 5. Yesterday, she won only 23% (614).

Human rights expert calls for more female leadership on climate

Only a handful of female leaders including New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern are on the United Nations' climate panel.

The others include German chancellor Angela Merkel, Barbados' president Mia Mottley, Iceland's prime minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, Estonian prime minister Kaja Kallas and the head of UN Climate Change Patricia Espinosa.

Many governments claim that 45 percent of their COP26 teams are women.

Training empowers women candidates to prepare for elections in Tonga

Current and potential women candidates gathered at a workshop to assist them become more effective candidates who are better able to develop impactful campaigns and influence voters about the benefits women offer as leaders.

The workshop provided a platform for the women to learn from past experiences of women parliamentarians, while sharing their ideas, concerns and questions around election processes and campaigning.

The workshop, held 11 August, was hosted by Fi-e-Fi-a ‘a Fafine Tonga (FFFT) Women Coalition and supported by the Balance of Power (#BOP) program.

Impact on female-led Pacific businesses deepens as COVID-19 takes its toll

Despite this, Pacific businesses continue to adapt; an increasing number have scaled back operations, with fully operational female-led businesses decreasing to 23 per cent (down from 29 percent during Survey 4 of the PTI Pacific Business Monitor), and partially operational businesses increasing from 29 per cent to 41 per cent.

Commenting on the Survey 5 findings, PTI Australia Trade & Investment Commissioner Caleb Jarvis noted that the pandemic is biting hard for all businesses – particularly those led by women.

Tongan women highlighted in stories of resilience post-cyclone Gita

The personal accounts of women in rural areas of Nuku'alofa and 'Eua are being published online by the Tongan Women and Children's crisis centre.

Its director Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki said most of the planning and decision making in Tonga was done by men.

But she argues the resilience and vision showed by so many Tongan women during and after the devastation wrought by Gita makes a strong case for change.

Call for further equality in Tongan parliament

Tonga's Women and Children's Crisis Centre said while it was happy two women have been elected, it was disappointed only 14 percent of people voted for female candidates in last week's election.

The centre's director Ofa Guttenbeil Likiliki said nationally there were only 5,575 votes for women from a total count of nearly 40,000.

She said while special measures like quotas could be short term solutions for increasing women's numbers in parliament, the long term solution is education in schools, as many children are still faced with gender stereotypes at home.

Push for more women in Tonga's general election

Nominations for candidates open on Wednesday and Thursday and 57,000 people have already enrolled to vote. 

PRN reports Tonga Chamber of Commerce Vice-chair, Aloma Johansson, hopes women voters will endorse and vote for women candidates.

"There are a number of women standing across the country," she says. "Now it's up to the voter and I'm hoping women, who make up over half of the voting population, will acknowledge that there are women who can not only represent their interests but also the interests of the country."


Photo via PRN/UNDP 

Let's talk about the mental load

You know the scene — you're making dinner, calling the plumber/doctor/mechanic, checking homework and answering work emails — at the same time.

All the while, you are being peppered with questions by your nearest and dearest "where are my shoes?", "do we have any cheese?", "what time's my basketball game?", "what are we doing next Saturday night?".

But even if you know this experience well, you may not have the language to describe it.