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PNG economist says election of women crucial to PNG future

Monday 27 June 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Papua New Guinea, Regional

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PNG economist says election of women crucial to PNG future
Photo: RNZ

A Papua New Guinea economist says the election of women in parliament will be crucial to advancing gender equality in the country.

Papua New Guineans go to the polls on July 2 with 142 women candidates putting their hands up to contest for the 118 seats up for grabs.

University of Papua New Guinea academic Maholopa Laveil said PNG is among the few countries in the world that do not have any women in parliament.

Members of parliament stand to the right of the speaker (R) to approve the vote of Peter O'Neill as prime minister in Port Moresby on August 3, 2012.
PNG is among the few countries in the world that do not have any women in parliament Photo: AFP/Ness Kerton

Mr Laveil said the number of females contesting the 2022 elections has also dropped compared to the 2017 polls, which had 176.

He said fewer women candidates, just over four percent of the total candidates across more seats, means their likelihood of success has fallen.

"So, it's a worry. PNG is one of the four countries that does not have women representation in parliament and if we do not elect them in parliament this time around in terms of strengthening gender equality, we'll go in the opposite direction as a country."