14 May 2010

PNG campaign to create 22 parliament seats for women kicks into overdrive

1:38 pm on 14 May 2010

Papua New Guinea's Minister for Community Affairs admits it won't be easy to gain enough support among MPs to create 22 women seats in Parliament.

The government this week gave notice of its intention to table a constitutional amendment catering for the proposed reserved seats.

The bill is being sponsored by the minister, Dame Carol Kidu, with the Prime Minister among those in the 109-seat parliament to have voiced support for it.

By the July session, the bill will be allowed to go through its first reading, debate and first vote.

Dame Carol says supporters of the bill need this time to continue advocacy.

"So there is a lot happening with help from Unifem and people to help fund it. And the Council of Women network is starting to mobilise and so on. The women are feeling very positive. But to be frank, it's going to be very hard. We've got to get 83 votes to change the constitution. We had some very positive meetings with government yesterday but only a few members came, not enough members came."

Dame Carol Kidu