PNG’s Tekwie calls for stronger backing for women in Parliament


PNG Women in Politics founder Dorothy Tekwie pleads for change in this general election. Video: TVWan News

Pacific Media Centre News Desk

Papua New Guinea’s Greens Party president and founder of PNG Women in Politics Dorothy Tekwie has called on voters in next month’s general election to support leaders who support women representation in Parliament.

She said the Equality and Participation Act had already been passed in 2011 but not implemented in the 2012 — and now not even for the 2017 national general election.

“We are calling on the women of Papua New Guinea to ask their candidates are you going to push and support this initiative for women to be elected, nominated or appointed to Parliament for this election,” Tekwie said.

Papua New Guinea is the largest Pacific country with a population of more than 7 million.

Its national Parliament has 111 members with just three women currently MPs.

Since Independence in 1975, only seven women have ever been elected to Parliament.

In December 2011, the Equality and Participation Act was passed to introduce 22 reserved seats for women in the National Parliament – one seat per province, plus one for the National Capital District.

But for the Act to be implemented, a constitutional amendment was also necessary. The Bill to amend the Constitution failed to attract the necessary number of votes in early 2012.

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