Five reserved seats for women in PNG Parliament ‘a good start’
29th April, 2021
Advocates for increased female political representation in Papua New Guinea have welcomed the PNG Government’s endorsement of five reserved seats for women in Parliament. Politicians, including PNG’s Attorney General Dr Eric Kawa, announced their support for the reforms this week. A bill has not been introduced into Parliament and details of the legislation have not been announced. Dr Kawa has not responded to the ABC’s requests for comment.
University of Papua New Guinea political scientist Geejay Milli said the fight to increase female participation in politics had been ongoing since PNG achieved independence in 1975. “I can count on my fingers seven women who have been in Parliament since independence, that number is very low,” Ms Milli said. “The endorsement of those five seats is very good news.”
In 2011, a bill to create 22 reserved seats for women in PNG Parliament was passed but constitutional changes required to allow this to happen were voted down. Ms Milli said five seats for women was a good start, but not enough.
“At the moment, we’ll go with whatever is offered and on the table. Because our parliament doesn’t have any female voices,” she said.
She encouraged women across the country with an interest in politics to consider running in the 2022 national election.