PM's drive for women in parliament

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says he will make a proposal to Parliament to create seats specifically for women.
PM's drive for women in parliament PM's drive for women in parliament PM's drive for women in parliament PM's drive for women in parliament PM's drive for women in parliament

US ambassador Catherine Ebert-Gray shows her support for the Prime Minister’s proposal

Staff Reporter

"We have to do this," O'Neill said when PNG observed International Women's Day on March 8, The Post Courier newspaper reported.
 
There are no women in parliament although many highly skilled and talented female candidates contested the 111 seats in the 2017 national election.
 
O'Neill said this was a "very unfortunate outcome" of the democratic process.
 
"I want to see this situation rectified and our government will present a proposal to Parliament that will create seats specifically for women. We have to do this, we need diversity in policy debate; we need the input of leading women in our country in the national parliament," he said.
 
"And we must create more opportunities for women in our country, not only in the parliament, but in every walk of life."
 
O'Neill said the women in communities were often the first to be neglected and this was not fair.
 
"When we established free education for our country, this empowered young girls to set goals and reach new heights," he said.
 
"With free education school enrolments went from one million to two million children, and most of these were girls.
 
"With this opportunity it is important that young girls are committed to their schooling. I want to see more of our young women attend and graduate school so that they can have jobs and start businesses.
 
"There is always time to get married, but first get an education and find job and establish yourself." He said that women would always have the responsibility of carrying the nation's babies to birth, but there should be no rush, The Post Courier reported.
 
Importantly also, the men - the fathers, brothers, sons and uncles - must do more.
 
"Our children need male role-models who set an example, who participate in the upbringing and education of our children.
 
"When a man and women create families this carries responsibility and it cannot be neglected. Our men must be with our children and play an active part in their upbringing."
 
O'Neill said Papua New Guinea was a young nation with great potential, rich in resources and had an economic future that was sound, but its greatest resource was always the people.
 
"We will never achieve our true potential if we do not attend to the core and basic issues of our communities, and that is the wellbeing of all of our people, especially the women of our country," he said.
 
"On this International Women's Day, I ask all Papua New Guineans to reflect on the great value, the importance, and the love and care of the women in our country."
 
 

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