Women's Act in PNG


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25 November 2011
+ Enlarge this image Women celebrate outside Parliament House in Port Moresby after a law, which guarantees 22 seats to women in PNG's National Parliament, was passed on Wednesday. Picture: AAP
+ Enlarge this image Women celebrate outside Parliament House in Port Moresby after a law, which guarantees 22 seats to women in PNG's National Parliament, was passed on Wednesday. Picture: AAP

PORT MORESBY - After two years of political pressure, Papua New Guinea has passed a law to boost its number of female parliamentarians, a move hailed by political activists as the breaking of a new dawn.  The Equality and Participation Bill, which guarantees 22 seats to women at the next national election, was passed into law by a vote of 72 to 2 on Wednesday.

PNG's 109-seat parliament currently has only one female member - Queenslander Dame Carol Kidu.  Dame Carol, a champion of the Bill since its inception in 2009, said she was not a believer in affirmative action when she entered parliament 15 years ago.  "Might I suggest we look at Hansard - let's see how often the agenda of maternal mortality, infant mortality, gender based violence gets on this floor," she told parliament on Wednesday.  "If you check Hansard, the agendas of social indicators have not really been thoroughly addressed by my honourable male colleagues.  "I don't pretend to understand the complexities of here... I don't pretend it. The men were the warriors, but remember the women were the peacemakers."

[Fiji Times - Pns]

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