1 Dec 2012

Anger in PNG at negative attitude of new women MPs to reserved seats

8:24 am on 1 December 2012

The leader of the Papua New Guinea Greens party is calling for the Minister of Community Development, Religion and Family Affairs to be removed from her portfolio over the issue of reserved seats for women.

Last year, the PNG parliament passed a bill to set up 22 reserved seats for women, but enabling legislation was not passed in time for this year's election, in which three women were elected in open seats.

The three MPs have ruled out supporting the legislation in this parliamentary term.

Dorothy Tekwie says that is a vote of no confidence in Loujaya Toni's ability as the minister responsible for gender issues.

"She could be transferred to another ministry, or the ministry be transferred out of her ministry, because she clearly does not have any interest to promote the interests of women of Papua New Guinea by her arrogant, irresponsible and unprofessional [views] for some minister representing the interest of a certain sector of the community under her portfolio."

Dorothy Tekwie says the three women MPs need to meet with women leaders to understand why they have championed reserved seats for so long.