6 Dec 2010

PNG women "betrayed" by decision not to consider reserved seats bill

5:57 am on 6 December 2010

A spokesperson for the United Nations Development Programme in Papua New Guinea says women feel betrayed by the government over a bill to create 22 seats reserved for them.

PNG has only one woman MP and has had just four since independence 35 years ago.

Margaret Lokoloko says despite a commitment from the Prime Minister that the bill would be considered this year, parliament sent it back to cabinet for reworking last month before adjourning until May.

She says women came from remote areas to lobby for the bill to go through.

"When you look at the Highlands region women had to travel two to three days walking because it's track before they got to the main road and you know I also asked them, 'Why did you come when we told you not to come, there's no funds to bring people in' and they said, 'No, we had to come, we had to see that the men were serious in accepting women as partners so we had to come'."