28 Mar 2007

Political parties in PNG give greater support to women candidates for June elections

8:10 pm on 28 March 2007

A women's NGO in Papua New Guinea hopes increased backing from political parties will see more women elected to parliament in the June national elections.

There is presently just one female MP, and the president of the national council of women, Scholla Warai Kakas, says the ideal would be to have 30 percent of the 109 seats.

But she says a realistic immediate aim would be four to six seats.

She says the council is conducting awareness campaigns to encourage more female candidates and for women to back them.

Ms Kakas says political parties are being more supportive than in the past.

"One or two parties have been very good. They have been taking in women on the executives of political parties and also they have come forward to agree to sponsor women for the coming elections. We are doing fine, at least each party has come out to endorse at least two or three candidates."

Scholla Warai Kakas says there are 23 women candidates so far but the number growing steadily.