29 Jun 2005

PNG Minister says she wants at least 20 parliament seats for women

8:50 pm on 29 June 2005

Papua New Guinea will have at least 20 national parliamentary seats set aside for women within seven years, if the country's only current female MP has her way.

Earlier this week the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, told Commonwealth Parliamentarians that she hopes to introduce legislation by 2007 to reserve seats for women.

Dame Carol Kidu, the Community Development Minister, says the preferred option is for the 20 provincial governors seats to be set aside for the women.

"The fall back option is of various sorts but it seems that one of the favoured ones would be to get one women per region, which would only give four women on the floor by reserved seats, and hopefully [we would have ] some in the seats such as I have stood in, constituencies."