Women’s Under-Representation and Special Measures in the Tongan Parliament


Author/s (editor/s):

Kerryn Baker

Publication year:


Publication type:

Policy paper

Tonga’s parliament has never seen more than two women representatives in a single parliamentary term, and there is no sign of a gradual improvement in women’s representation over time. Special measures — that is, legislative reforms to increase women’s political representation — can be controversial developments, but in this context the institution of special measures would be a means to guarantee the presence and the contribution of women in parliamentary politics. Women activists in Tonga have mostly advocated either a reserved seat model or a ‘safety net’ model of special measures. This In Brief sets out the cases for and against these two models, with examples from the Pacific islands region, and conclude with a brief discussion of the Tongan political context.

Download/View publication

Updated:  28 March 2023/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team