Election of women to PNG Parliament crucial for future, says economist

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Hopeful PNG women politicians at a recent health workshop
Hopeful PNG women politicians at a recent health workshop ... fewer female candidates in this election than in 2017. Image: LoopPNG

RNZ Pacific

A Papua New Guinean economist says the election of women in Parliament will be crucial to advancing gender equality in the country.

Papua New Guineans go to the polls on July 2 with 142 women candidates putting their hands up to contest the 118 seats up for grabs.

University of Papua New Guinea academic Maholopa Laveil said PNG was among the few countries in the world that do not have any women in Parliament.

PNG economist Maholopa Laveil
PNG economist Maholopa Laveil … PNG is one of the four countries that doesn’t have women representation in Parliament. Image: DevBlog

Laveil said the number of females contesting the 2022 elections had also dropped compared to the 2017 polls, which had 176.

He said fewer women candidates — just over four percent of the total candidates across more seats — means their likelihood of success had fallen.

“So, it’s a worry. PNG is one of the four countries that doesn’t have women representation in Parliament and if we do not elect them this time around in terms of strengthening gender equality, we’ll go in the opposite direction as a country.”

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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