28 Mar 2011

Bougainville woman MP says reserved seats have changed attitudes

6:43 pm on 28 March 2011

A politician in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, Elizabeth Burain says special women's seats in parliament have helped change attitudes and represent a victory for women.

Ms Burain was elected last year to one of Bougainville's three reserved women's seats, brought in under the constitution in 2004.

She's told a gathering of Pacific women politicians in Wellington that the special seats have meant it's increasingly recognised that women take on public roles.

She says the MPs are now spearheading a move to have women contest all thirty three open constituencies at the next election.

"That's our aim. We are leading this move and hopefully in the next house we will maybe have a quarter or half of the population inside the house of representatives."

Bougainville MP Elizabeth Burain.