We need a minimum of six women, not five

Dear Editor,


Your editorial of today, Saturday 20 Feb 2016, refers to the Constitutional Amendment to guarantee that at least 10 per cent of Parliament is made up of women. 

Everyone I have listened to or read about referring to this amendment including Members of Parliament and Women Candidates says the same thing and that the minimum of five women will satisfy this guarantee of “at least 10 per cent”. 

I’m sorry to say that we need a minimum of six women to satisfy the “at least 10 per cent” guarantee if the total number of MPs is over 50.

The Constitutional amendment allows the total number of MPs to be between 49 and 54 inclusive. As it stands, the only time the “at least 10%” guarantee is satisfied is when the number of women MPs elected during the General Election is 4 or more. 

If only 3 or less women MPs are elected during the General Election then you need a total of 6 MPs to be women to satisfy the “at least 10% of Parliament” guarantee for the number of women MPs.

I am surprised that no one has picked up this simple arithmetic error but then it is perhaps a reflection of the numeracy level that we have fallen to as referred to in one of your earlier editorials. 

Or it is most probable that when the Prime Minister uttered the number 5, everybody from those who drafted the amendment to those who debated and passed it in Parliament have decided to leave their brains in their pockets. 


Fauo’o Taua Fatu Tielu

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