28 Apr 2005

Bougainville women tipped to get male backing in election on PNG island

3:37 pm on 28 April 2005

The leader of a women's group on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville says there will be a lot of male support for the 53 women contesting next month's elections for an autonomous government.

Three seats in the 41 member assembly are reserved for women and 25 candidates are standing in these electorates.

Another 28 will stand in other seats in the province and Helen Hakena, the director of the Leitana Nehan Women's Development Agency, is confident some of these women will be successful.

Ms Hakena says she expects them to get support from the men, because there are just two patrilineal communities in the province.

"Whereas all the rest, there is support for women. You know, inclusion of women in all decisions made at home, decisions on how to use the land, decisions on a lot of things - women here have been respected and I don't think we will have a problem with men supportive of women during the elections."

Helen Hakena