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Time for equality for the women of PNG

Taylor_Meg TOMORROW, THE GALLERIES of PNG’s national parliament will be crowded with women hoping to witness the passage of a bill establishing seats reserved exclusively for female MPs.

At present there is only one woman in parliament, Dame Carol Kidu, a situation which another Dame – the esteemed leader Meg Taylor [left] - says is “meagre and unacceptable.”

“The future of our nation was, and is, based on our hopes and aspirations as a people,” Dame Meg says. “At self-government, we clearly articulated the equal participation of women in political, economic and social life and institutions.

“The purpose of this is to ensure the sound and strong development of PNG with women as equal partners in development and nation building.

“We stood as a young nation on a journey of great expectation towards nationhood. We knew that there would be challenges and we believed that we would all share those challenges.

“Women in PNG have worked hard and contributed to the development of our young nation, however, women’s participation at senior levels in government has seriously declined.”

Dame Meg said in parliament, where laws were made and politicians defined the future of the country, there was an obvious absence of women.

Hawke & Friends “In the 35 years of our young nation, there have been four women in parliament. Two have held a ministry. This statistic is shocking and shameful.

“We will not build a nation when the opportunity for women candidates to be elected into parliament is undermined by reason of culture and prejudice, however, that has been the case and that must be changed.”

Dame Meg said that the participation of women through reserved seats will “prepare the ground for more robust democratic institutions for the future.”

“This will be the beginning for a more equal representation through the electoral process,” she said.

Photo: Past & future MPs?  Bob Hawke has been visiting Port Moresby where he managed to meet up with three Pacific beauty contestants [Ilya Gridneff]


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Arthur Williams

All I hope is Dame Carpl Kidu doesn’t read the Courier Mail and copy the Ukrainian feminists:

“DOZENS of Ukrainian feminists staged an unusual protest against the country's all-male cabinet, pretending to urinate to show the government had turned into nothing more than a men's room.

"The members of the Femen group - known for its brazen feminist stunts - squirted bottles of water and yellow liquid from their groins outside the government headquarters as a bemused line of police looked on.

"To urinate standing is not a privilege," said a banner held by one of the estimated 30 protesters. The police did not prevent the protest but also did not allow the women any further towards the government.

"The police, wrapped up against the winter cold, tried to repress their smiles as the scantily clad women squirted the liquid all over the pavement.

"The demonstrators were protesting after a cabinet reshuffle last week again left the government of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and President Viktor Yanukovych without a single female cabinet minister
"We think that the prime minister has mixed the cabinet of ministers up with a male lavatory and thus has forbidden entry to members of the 'weaker' sex," Femen said in a statement.

"The lack of women in the cabinet is a contrast to the previous government ousted earlier this year led by charismatic former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.”

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