25 Nov 2008

Lone female MP in PNG says more women in Parliament vital for PNG democracy

11:21 am on 25 November 2008

Papua New Guinea's only woman MP, Dame Carol Kidu, says it is vital there are more women in Parliament and that's why the Government is planning to appoint three women to the institution.

The plan may happen next year with Dame Carol pushing for up to 20 new seats to be reserved for women from the 2012 election onwards.

She says, in the meantime, the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare is supportive of the scheme to appoint three women next year, though it still needs the approval of two thirds of Parliament.

Dame Carol says those opposed say appointing female MPs makes a mockery of the democratic process - a claim she strongly rejects.

"I would say that a Parliament that has only zero-point per cent of its members are women, namely the one woman on the floor, I say that is a mockery of democracy. People can't talk about women going in without an election being a mockery of Parliament, in the total Parliament is a mockery of democracy, which is suppose to have regional, equitable and distribution of voice on the floor."

Papua New Guinea's only woman MP, Dame Carol Kidu.