This Cook Islands parliamentarian is a champion of democracy in the Pacific

Niki Rattle was first appointed Speaker of Parliament of the Cook Islands in 2012, then reappointed in 2014. Her role is to ensure that the functions of parliament are carried out in accordance with the constitution, and the standing orders and procedures of parliament. Upholding the integrity and dignity of the House of Parliament is a critical part of Ms Rattle’s role.

Ms Rattle is a passionate advocate for gender equality in parliament, as she was in her previous roles as President of the National Council of Women, President of the Women’s Counselling Centre, and during her time with the Red Cross. She is deeply concerned about the unacceptably high rates of domestic violence in Pacific Island countries, and wants more action on ending violence against women.

Ms Rattle was involved in the first Women’s Practice Parliament in the Cook Islands in 2015 and again in 2017, and works to familiarise women with the roles and responsibilities of being a Member of Parliament, to encourage women to stand for elections, and support other women. She is active with the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Group, and plans to start a women’s caucus in the Cook Islands Parliament.

This portrait of Niki Rattle was first published by the Pacific Community for the 70 Inspiring Women campaign, it is reproduced here with their permission.

The 70 Inspiring Pacific Women campaign has been produced by the Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with Australian Aid and Pacific Women. The campaign marks the 70th anniversary of SPC, and leads up to the 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and 6th Meeting of Ministers for Women in Suva (Fiji) from 2nd to 5th October 2017.

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