9 Jun 2010

PNG minister insists reserved women seats are affordable

1:25 pm on 9 June 2010

The only woman in the Papua New Guinea Parliament has dismissed opposition claims it's too costly to have 22 seats established for women MPs.

Dame Carol Kidu is behind the scheme to have a seat reserved in each province in time for the 2012 election.

But the deputy opposition leader, Bart Philemon, says while is he's all for more women MPs in Parliament, the country can't afford this plan.

He says the money should be used to provide health and education services.

But Dame Carol, who's the Minister of Community Development and set to retire at the next election, says the country has the money.

She says a seat in each province is the only option that'll work without the Electoral Boundaries Commission having to sit.

"We had to make sure that we were just using an existing boundary. And it's really the only option. We have gone through so many options. It is the only option that is able to be implemented by 2012. And to me it is really critical that we do get this implemented by 2012 or I believe we will have no women in Parliament after 2012."