Workers of Kava house, a local business owned by the king family

The only female winning candidate and Member of Parliament-elected in the Efate Rural constituency, Gloria King, has confidently assured that she has no problem sitting inside a Parliament full of male politicians.

Mrs. Gloria King says she is there to represent women, and she is there because the men have supported her getting into the national Parliament.

“With all my male colleagues, I don’t think it has to be a constant battle between men and women,” she said.

“All of them come from a woman, all of them have a wife, most of them would have daughters and nieces, so me sitting in the room with them shouldn’t be an issue,” she said.

Mrs. King although there are many difficulties and issues in different platforms, if one puts them together in a matrix, there are certain similarities.

Mrs. King is known for being an active woman in business, sports, in the community, and in the church.

Her journey into politics was confirmed when she was involved with the Mele village water system, where they had to raise funds and awareness towards a water system for the mothers and children in Mele village.

“In the time that i was juggling my other responsibilities, I was gathering the courage to be able to one day make up my mind to be here.

“I didn’t think it would be soon but it has arrived, the women and people of Efate have spoken and so here I am,” she said.

Mrs. King thanked the Mele Village Farea and the Chief’s council for giving her the opportunity to be able to represent Mele.

“For the longest time with the chiefly issues division among our tribes and families in Mele, it was not easy to come to this consciousness,” she said.

Vanuatu’s first President, Ati George Sokomanu, shared that the idea of advancing Mrs. King into parliament came into consideration when his wife passed away.

“Gloria, I want to tell you to start preparing for the 2024 General Election. I want you to represent us in parliament,” he told her.

He continued to keep in contact with her, having meetings with her husband and discussing concerning politics.

Mr. Sokomanu said the main purpose behind his idea was that Mele village has a large population, however, with the influence of political parties they find it difficult to choose someone to represents them.

“With this, we emphasized that with the idea of a woman representative, there will be change, and it did happened that way,” he said.

Chairman of Efate Vaturisu Council of Chiefs, Chief Simeon Poilapa, said Mrs. King successful election into the Parliament was not a mistake; they had considered this matter before the dissolution of parliament.

Chief Poilapa said the Farea accepted Mrs. King when they heard about her intentions to contest. The Farea and about 18-20 heads of tribes in Mele then unite to make it a reality.

Mrs. King encourages young girls and women who aspire to have a political career, noting it is a very ‘big’ career and the responsibilities that come with it will be heavy.

“To say that as women we can do it, yes it is possible, but to say we can do it on our own will have its consequences,” said Mrs. King.