6 Dec 2010

PNG reserved seats delay galvanises grassroots communities

11:43 am on 6 December 2010

A spokesperson for the United Nations Development Programme in Papua New Guinea says grassroots communities are determined to get women into parliament.

The comment follows parliament's recent decision not to consider a bill creating 22 reserved seats for women before adjourning until May.

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

Margaret Lokoloko says the bill's many supporters are concerned that even if the legislation is passed, it won't come into effect in time for the 2012 general election.

She says that's strengthening their commitment to see women in parliament.

"it is the 22 reserved seats advocacy that has spearheaded this unity within the women's movement between the National Council of Women, the women's organisations across the country, and their one goal is to get women on the floor of parliament. Whatever ways and means they will get women on the floor, that's what they're saying."