5 Mar 2009

PNG Cabinet makes move to have women appointed to Parliament

8:15 pm on 5 March 2009

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea has confirmed that the National Executive Council is endorsing a move to have women appointed to Parliament.

Cabinet has given its backing to utilise provision in the constitution to have women submit their expressions of interest.

Sir Michael Somare says a shortlist of candidates will shortly go to Parliament, which will choose three women to take seats until the end of this term due in 2012.

Sir Michael says this will be a landmark achievement for PNG.

He say though women were given equal status and rights at independence, the PNG socio-cultural environment has not permitted women to succeed at the polls.

Sir Michael says affirmative action should not be seen as defeatist but rather the first step in getting the population to accept that it is all right for women to be in parliament.