Longest-serving female MP in Niue O’love Jacobsen highlighted the barriers women face when aspiring to positions of authority such as that of the Premier of a country.
Her nomination for the Premiership yesterday was Hon. Jacobsen’s fourth attempt at the top job. She lost to Dalton Tagelagi by seven votes to thirteen.
In her concession speech, Hon. Jacobsen said it is still very hard for a woman to lead this country.
She said that the barriers confronting women, not just in Niue but internationally, women are still not considered leadership material and that women are generally relegated to the kitchen.
Her impassioned speech was well received and despite the outcome, O’love Jacobsen vowed to continue to inspire women to pursue leadership roles.
She encouraged the female high school students in the public gallery not to feel disheartened by her unsuccessful attempt at the premiership.
Jacobsen also reminded the newly elected Premier Dalton Tagelagi about his role as well as the newly sworn-in members of Parliament.
“You are answerable to the Niue Assembly, not the other way around.No one makes it to the top without the help of others.
As a people of Niue, you have an obligation to uphold and sustain the laws and leaders wherever you live make Niue strong and worthy of God’s blessings. Pray for your civic leaders and encourage them in righteousness.” Said Jacobsen
Jacobsen has served in Parliament for almost twenty years and has been the only female contender for the position of Premier.
The number of female MPs in Niue’s legislative assembly has reduced from 5 to 3 with 17 male MPs following the general election.