25 Nov 2011

UN official welcomes passing of PNG reserved seats bill

6:21 pm on 25 November 2011

The Pacific representative for the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is welcoming new legislation in Papua New Guinea that allows for the creation of reserved seats for women.

PNG MPs this week passed the Equality and Participation Bill which sets up 22 reserved seats for women.

But enabling legislation for the reserved seats, which will require the backing of 83 of the 109 MPs, has still to be passed before the measure becomes law.

Matilda Bogner says in a country where women are severely underrepresented at the national political decision making level and widely discriminated against, dedicated seats in Parliament are a step in the right direction for women's political participation.