Rigo weighs up better gender mix in PNG parliament

3:10 pm on 22 June 2017

A former teacher in Papua New Guinea is cautiously hopeful that the national parliament is slowly moving towards gender equality.

Heading into next week's polling for PNG's election, there is a record 167 women candidates, or 5 percent of the total number, vying for the 111 seats.

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Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Central Province's Rigo Open has the most females contesting a single electorate in the country, with seven women among a total of 39 candidates.

A Rigo local, Lyn Mairi says PNG needs a better balance of gender in the parliament, and that this would encourage more women to step into leadership roles.

"I think that if we also have a female in Central, I know that there will be some improvements coming up with this female," Ms Mairi said.

"Most females are not comfortable going up to see their parliament leaders on their own, but I know if there is a female in office I am sure that there will be lots and lots of women going in there to pour out their grievances," she said.

"I'm sure there will be a great change."