10 Sep 2012

UNDP keen to support getting more Pacific women in Parliament

4:09 am on 10 September 2012

The head of the United Nations Development Programme says her organisation will happily support MPs who want to re-introduce legislation to increase women's political representation.

Across the Pacific, only about 5 percent of parliamentarians are women.

Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands have attempted reserved seats, and legislation has been introduced in Samoa.

Helen Clark says the developing countries around the World that have made the biggest strides in women's representation have generally employed special measures.

"It seems to me that if you can't make a breakthrough by normal means of people contesting, being selected for parliament, then you have to look at the special measures. That's why we supported Dame Carol Kidu in Papua New Guinea with that legislation, and we will happily support women, and men, MPs who want to pick it up again."

Helen Clark says having women in political roles makes all the difference in the World.