FWRM points out appointment disparity

Picture:FILE

State-owned enterprises board appointments do not equitably reflect population diversity in Fiji, says the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM).

The FWRM stated of the 192 board members in the 38 boards assessed, indigenous Fijians comprised 61 or 32 per cent of board membership.

“Indian Fijians are 10 points higher than indigenous Fijians at 42 per cent of board members, while other ethnic groups are 50 out of 192 or 26 per cent, the latter the most over-represented group relative to the population.” The data used by FWRM was derived from its Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion — Leadership in Fiji government-controlled boards survey.

The survey studied 192 board members in 38 SOEs.

“Some five or 13 per cent of boards have no indigenous Fijian participation at all and 14 or 37 per cent of boards have less than 30 per cent indigenous Fijian participation.

“In comparison, the number of boards with no Indian-Fijian participation is three of 38 or only 8 per cent and the number of boards with less than 30 per cent Indian-Fijian participation is seven of 38 or 18 per cent.” The FWRM said the 2017 census found that the permanent population of Fiji was 884,887.

“Various sources and population projections put indigenous Fijians at around 58-60 per cent of the population, Fijians of Indian or South Asian descent at around 32 per cent (37 per cent in the 2007 census) and the balance (8-10 per cent) consisting of various ethnic groups and mixed ethnicity.

“Men are 50.7 per cent of the population.

“This combined data needs to be kept in mind while considering gender, diversity, inclusion and leadership in Fiji boards.”

Questions sent to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum on Tuesday, and again yesterday, about the FWRM survey assessment remain unanswered.

Women’s Minister Mereseini Vuniwaqa said she had just received the report and would issue a statement once she had verified information in it.

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