9 Mar 2009

Push for reserved seats for women in PNG parliament

12:15 pm on 9 March 2009

Papua New Guinea's National Council of Women says women will continue to push for reserved seats in parliament, after the approval of a plan to have nominated woman parlimentarians for the rest of this term.

The plan will utilise provisions in the constitution to allocate three nominated seats for women.

The Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare says though women were given equal status and rights at independence, the PNG socio-cultural environment has not permitted women to succeed at the polls.

The Council's president Scholla Kakas says at the last election, more than 100 women contested the poll, and only one woman succeeded.

"The measures to be taken , this was the one, and it is only for a short term, for this term, for only three years, and then we hope the three will push for more reserved seats in the Parliament for the 2012 election."

Scholla Kakas says the names of the nominated women will be announced on Tuesday.