25 Jul 2011

Campaigner for more women's seats say men shouldn't feel threatened

6:37 am on 25 July 2011

A campaigner for seats to be set aside for women in Pacific parliaments says there needs to be more womens' voices in parliament.

Dame Carol Kidu, the only female MP in Papua New Guinea, spoke on the subject at the fourth Pacific Women's Ministerial meeting in Fiji last week.

She believes if Pacific nations don't kick-start an increase in women's representation by using temporary special measures, the current situation with typically only one or two women in parliaments will go on for another fifty years.

"I find it very hard to understand because we're not trying to take space away from them we're actually creating just extra space for women. And in view of the fact that our population has doubled since independence I think we can warrant having more voices on the floor."

Dame Carol Kidu, who's involved in a push to have 22 reserved seats in PNG, but she's worried it won't get through parliament quickly enough in time for next year's elections.