With the tenth parliament officially opened this morning, there was great concern at there being no women leaders in the House.
A 2-day forum held recently discussed strategies of how women could be supported and become leaders for representation in Parliament.
Similar forums will be held around the country with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The discussions involved participants from all sectors in both public and private organizations. The obvious concern among the list of points was the zero representation of women’s voice in the 10th parliament.
With no female voices after this year’s election, PNG is now below the global average of 23% female representation in parliament.
The forum discussed strategies of an alternate strategic road map where more women can be elected in the next National Elections in 2022.
The forum highlighted 8 recommendations with the 4 leading agenda of:
– Government & Parliament to address deficit of women in Parliament
– More support from Integrity of Political Parties and Candidate Commission
– An independent review of 2017 National Elections to identify areas of improvement so women participate freely in election processes
– Call to Government to strengthen national mechanisms dedicated to promote women empowerment and gender equality.
UNDP is planning for similar forums in other regions around the country. Only 3 women were elected in the previous national elections but all three failed to defend their seats.