WIP legislation

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Throughout the Pacific, there has been increasing interest and commitment to enacting legislation to specifically introduce temporary special measures to promote women in national parliaments and/or local level governance structures. This page collects together Pacific legislation and Bills on women in politics If you know of a Bill or law which we have missed, please send it to the PacWIP team at pacwip@gmail.com.

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Vanuatu Municipalities (Amendment) Act No. 11 of 2013

In 2013, the Vanuatu Parliament passed a historic amendment to the Municipalities Act, providing for reserved seats for women in the municipal councils. The quota provision is regarded as a ‘special temporary measure’ and was implemented for the first time in the Port Vila Municipal Council elections that took place in December 2013. The Port Vila Municipal Council has 14 seats, 13 of which are currently occupied by male councillors. With this new Amendment Act, five seats will be reserved for women candidates at every municipal elections, and the women candidates running for the reserved seats will be elected from a separate ballot. A female candidate can either contest a reserved seat or a general seat in a ward.

Related news: 'Reserved Seats for women approved'; Vanuatu Daily Post, August 31st 2013

 
Author/s: State Law Office Date: 22 May 2014
Institution: VANUATU MUNICIPALITIES (AMENDMENT) ACT NO. 11 OF 2013 File size and type: 580 KB (PDF)
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Constitutional Amendment No.32 - Equality and Participation Law 2011

On 24 May 2012, the PNG National Council of Women published a notice in The National newspaper calling on the Caretaker Prime Minister to direct the PNG Electoral Commissioner to include women's electorate in the 2012 National Elections in accordance with the constitutional amendments to Section 101, passed 23 November 2011. The notice included a copy of the Constitutional Amendment No.32 - Equality and Participation Law 2011.

 

 
Author/s: PNG National Council of Women Date: 24 May 2012
Institution: Based on PNG Parliament certified law File size and type: 415 KB (PDF)
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Samoa Constitution Amendment Bill 2012

In March 2012, the Samoa Government tabled the Constitution Amendment Bill 2012 in Parliament. The Bill seeks to introduce a 10% quota of women representatives into the national Legislative Assembly. The system proposes a "floating" five reserved seats for women. If no woman is elected during the elections, the amendment is activated and five seats are added to the Assembly. This will mean a Samoan parliament with a total of 54 seats. If one woman is elected then four seats are added and parliament has 53 seats, and so on. When extra seats are added, they are filled by women who have already run in open constituencies. The unsuccessful women candidates who receive the highest percentage of votes in the election will fill the requisite number of reserved seats. 

 
Author/s: Office of the Attorney General Date: 12 March 2012
Institution: Govermment of Samoa File size and type: 14 KB (PDF)
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FSM Reserved Seats Bill CB 10-16

The Bill, which was introduced to the FSM Congress in 2010, proposed an amendment to the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia, for the purpose of increasing the representation of women in Congress by increasing the number of at-large seats in Congress, and reserving said seats for women. The Bill was referred to the Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Operations, but was not returned to Congress for consideration. With the elections in 2011, the Bill has now lapsed.

 
Author/s: Office of the Speaker of Parliament Date: 05 December 2009
Institution: FSM Congress File size and type: 11 KB (PDF)
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Constitution of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville 2004

In the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in PNG, following the end of the twenty year conflict, a new constitution and electoral system were devised in 2004. The Constitution will guide the region for ten years, after which a referendum will be held for the region to decide on its own long-term future. The Constitution reserves three seats in the legislature for women (and three seats would also be reserved for ex-combatants), with the seats elected directly by the people. Both women and men are allowed to vote for all seats. Bougainville has 33 constituencies to elect ordinary members. The province is also divided into 3 bigger constituencies – North, Central and South – and these are used for the 3 seats reserved for women (and 3 excombatants). Each voter casts 3 votes for representatives in the Legislative Assembly – one for their local MP, one for the reserved woman’s seat and one for the reserved ex-combatant’s seat 

 
Author/s: Government of ARB Date: 14 December 2004
Institution: Government of ARB File size and type: 771 KB (PDF)
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