It’s election time in PNG so another topic on politics. It’s now official that there are about 2700 candidates running for the 108 seats in the parliament of PNG. And maybe less than 5% of them are women, or even less than 1%!
There have been a few notable women in politics in PNG. Names like Nahau Rhooney, Dame Josephine Abaijah are the ones I remember well. Recently Lady Carol Kidu.
There has been much talk about equal participation by women in PNG in the country’s development and about increasing the number of women in parliament. And I was hoping that in this general election, some political parties in PNG will endorse some women candidates. But this has not been the case. A lady candidate was initially endorsed by a political canididate but later was dumped for a male candidate – without the lady candidate knowing! She had to find out through the media. I think that kind of action tells a lot about how political parties in PNG view women in politics.
Regardless of all the talk about gender equality in PNG, I think it will be a very long time before we see a good number of women in politics in PNG. Women a still regarded as second class citizens! As the old saying goes “Action speak louder than words”, and certainly the words about gender equality and equal participation by women does not reflect the actions to make these words come true.
If the male dominated political parties are not supporting many women candidates, maybe some of the current women leaders in PNG should start their own policital party and support some women candidates in the next general elections.
Kaikai blo tingting.