National Forum on Women in Politics: What Obstacles Women Politicians Must Overcome to Be Successful in Elections?

This Annual Forum was started by International IDEA and the Media Watch Group under the European Union-funded C³ - Fiji Project in 2018. Since then, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) had organized it with different partners once a year. This year, the Forum is organised under the “Building Public Confidence in Elections in Fiji through Civil Society Action” project, funded by the United Kingdom and in partnership with Dialogue Fiji. These forums are intended to address the need to attract more women into politics and to inform the public on issues related to women’s rights and facilitate openings for women political advocates.  

This year’s Forum precedes general elections in Fiji expected to take place next year and therefore will focus on women’s aspirations to participate in the elections. It builds upon Webinar #6 of the Democratic Development in Melanesia webinar series entitled “Challenges faced by Women in the Path of Politics in Fiji”, which was held on the 30 September 2021. The 27 October 2021 Forum in Suva will again feature female MPs, as well as females from civil society organisations, academia, and youth groups to have a discussion surrounding the Forum’s theme.  



  • Venue: Holiday Inn, Suva 

  • Date: 27 October 2021 

  • Time: 9:30-4:30 GMT +12 

  • Platform: Zoom 








International IDEA


Opening Ceremony

Welcoming Remarks by Ms. Leena Rikkilä Tamang, Regional Director for Asia & the Pacific, International IDEA


Opening Speech by H.E. Mr. George Edgar OBE, British High Commissioner to Fiji


Keynote Speech by Hon. Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Speaker of the Parliament of Fiji (TBC)


                                                           Morning Tea


Panel Discussion 1: Obstacles to Success

Moderator- Losana Tuiraviravi, Team Leader, Intergenerational Women in Leadership Programme, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement


Topic: Cultural obstacles in Fiji - how can this be changed?

Speaker: Ms. Mereani Rokotuibau, Team Leader, Balance of Power Project


Topic:  Political obstacles - the need of women to be actively involved in politics through political party

Speaker: Ms. Monica Raghwan, Vice President, Fiji Labour Party




Lunch Break


Panel Discussion 2: What are some strategies aspiring women can use to overcome the obstacles?

Moderator- Romulo Nayacalevu, Pacific Director, Asia-Pacific Centre for the

Responsibility to Protect, University of Queensland, Australia


Topic: How should women prepare to run in an election?

Speaker: Ms. Leonie Morgan, Founder, Emily’s List Australia


Topic: Encouraging women to vote for women

Speaker: Hon. Lenora Qereqeretabua, Member of Parliament, National Federation Party


Topic: How can women election candidates take advantage of online platforms?

Speaker: Anne Dunn, Online Safety Commissioner / Fiji First Party Candidate in 2018 Elections




Programme Closing, Afternoon Tea and Break



Partner Organizations/collaborators: 
International IDEA