PNG Women Speak Out On Various Issues: Oppose weakening Ombudsman, support reserve seats


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24 March 2010

The nationwide women’s movement that is pushing for the legislation of a bill to reserve 22 seats for them in Parliament also wants to stop the "Maladina amendment."  "We urge everyone to join Transparency International and Community Coalition Against Corruption (CCAC) to stop the ‘Maladina amendments’ which is aimed at removing the powers of the Ombudsman Commission," Greenpeace environment advocator and Women in Politics member Dorothy Tekwie said.

"It is our job as non-governmental organization (NGO) members and women groups to make our presence felt and ensure the people’s rights are protected, and that the Government delivers the expected services," she added.  Ms. Tekwie was speaking at the National Women’s Day celebrations held at the Unagi oval in Port Moresby yesterday.  She said the women’s movement was gaining momentum, seizing the opportunity provided by the celebration to mobilize and lobby for support from NGOs and youths.

Led by the National Council of Women (NCW), women leaders and representatives from groups such as Papua Hahine, Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), Women in Politics (WIP) and faith-based organizations marked the day with the participation of traditional singsing groups from around the city.

The celebration was themed "50 percent PNG women support reserved seats."  "Our role as mothers is very important and must not be taken lightly by men, including our children.  "We need that kind of leadership on the floor of the Parliament to steer the country in the right direction," Tekwie said.  "The majority representation from women is needed to fight for our human rights, for mothers who are dying everyday because of lack of funds and health services, and for a bright future for our children," she added.

Tekwie called on those present at the celebration, including young people, to support the bill if they wanted to see a difference in the way decisions are made in Parliament .  "The 22 seats is just something on the plate given to us by the Government.  It is small compared with the 109 seats so we, women, need to sweat more to get more representatives in Parliament," she said.

[The National - Alison Anis]
http://www.thenational.com.pg/

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