6 Jul 2009

PNG's PM urges MPs to vote for women seats

7:19 pm on 6 July 2009

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister is urging fellow MPs to support a parliamentary vote to establish three seats for females in the house.

Parliament resumes this week and is set to hold another vote on whether three nominated women should be placed into the chamber in an effort to foster better gender representation.

Sir Michael Somare is backing moves by PNG's only current female MP, the Community Development Minister Dame Carol Kidu, to push the bill through on the back of more consultation over its provisions.

Dame Carol says the fact that more than half of all MPs supported the bill in the first vote in March bodes well for it passing the two-thirds majority mark this time.

"So we'll see what happens this time. Last time in March it wasn't really debated. It was very poorly played politically. The leader of the opposition said he's not going to consult so the Prime Minister marked three names out of the six, brought them to the floor without enough consultation."

Dame Carol Kidu