30 Sep 2013

Palau's Mock Congress for Women deemed a success

10:34 am on 30 September 2013

An organiser of a women's meeting in Palau says many participants now realise their potential as leaders and will run for local and national elections.

The Mock Congress, organised by the United Nations Development Programme, aims to combat the low rates of women in Parliament in the Pacific - which at just five percent is the lowest proportion in the world.

The Parliamentary Development Specialist for the UNDP, Dyfan Jones, says in Palau's lower house, there are no women, and in the upper house, there are just three.

He says 11 women got training on how to answer questions, raise an issue and make amendments to legislation, and debated draft bills currently before the real congress, which was broadcast live on Palau television.

"Parliament can be a very intimidating place with lots of processes, procedures, traditions, culture. So it's really exposing a number of women who are thinking about running for Parliament to the workings of Parliament."

Dyfan Jones says the Mock Congress for Women has also held events in Papua New Guinea, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands.