16 Jan 2012

Departing Kidu hopes PNG women's seats bill squeezes through

6:20 pm on 16 January 2012

Papua New Guinea's only woman MP says she is hoping final legislation to establish reserved seats for women will pass this week, in time for the next general election.

The constitution has been amended to allow for the creation of 22 reserved seats but enabling legislation last month fell short of the numbers required to pass it.

PNG is in the grip of a protracted political crisis with two competing Prime Ministers and governments.

Dame Carol Kidu, who's retiring before the mid-year poll, says despite the turmoil her bill could still go through.

"If both factions in politics go on the floor and both factions want to claim that it's our legislation that should help it go through. And that's what happened when the constitutional amendment was passed, both factions were on the floor, both factions were saying this is our law and that's the wonderful thing, for once the male power politics came up to the benefit of women."

However, Dame Carol Kidu says there's a danger that if the legislation is passed now it may jeopardise the chances of the many women already preparing to run in the open seats.