Fijian women remain severely under-represented in politics.
Only one in six of the more than 340 candidates putting their hand up for this month's election are women, a significant drop in the proportion of women since the previous poll in 2018.
Lynda Tabuya wants that to change.
The deputy leader of People's Alliance is pushing to use her own platform and popularity to get women to put their hand up for a tilt at public office.
But most are starting well behind the eight ball.
"It's not because of a lack of desire but because of the barriers like finances," Tabuya told AAP.
"It's having to compete with rockstars and the star effect. It becomes overwhelming."
Fiji is one constituency and operates on proportional representation.
So on top of getting selected to run, a candidate must then work to ensure their personal vote is high enough to win one of the seats allocated to the party.
Tabuya has floated subsidising the campaigns of women who want to run for parliament to help overcome the financial disadvantage they face.
"You are really competing with everybody else so you are talking about the physical campaign, social media campaign and events which are really costly," she said.
She's also pushing to give women more exposure to build their own platforms, saying the move to having a single constituency across Fiji means the voices of women and young people aren't being heard.
"Women and youth get left behind. They struggle to stand on their own two feet," she said.
"We are the second and third tier candidates in an election because of the inability to have finances and young people are still worried about jobs and debt."
Tabuya says the visceral attacks on social media from political opponents levelled against her are also discouraging women from entering parliament.
"Social media being the new platform is brutal for women," she said.
She says attacks against her have also extended to her time in parliament.
"I've gotten attacked because of my dress, I've gotten attacked because of my personal life simply because I'm a woman," she said.
"When other women see that, it's daunting and a barrier to entering politics."
But she hopes her courage to continue in politics and fighting for important causes will encourage others to stand up.
"It's about showing what women leadership can bring to the table with the men," she surmised.
This article was made possible through the Melbourne Press Club's Michael Gordon Journalism Fellowship Program.
Australian Associated Press
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