Dr Gelu Wants More Women In Parliament

The years between elections and in particular the months before an election is called, are critical opportunities for political parties to direct specific attention towards identifying good, strong candidates.

Registrar for Political Parties, Dr Alphonse Gelu, made this known during the National Forum for Aspiring Women Leaders in Alotau recently. 

“We know that women are more likely to be elected if they have the support of the resources and networks of a political party. We therefore need political parties to see the value of endorsing women candidates,” said Dr Gelu.

At the last National General Election, despite 167 female candidates contesting, none were elected. Although numbers are rising significantly, research shows that less than 4% of women candidates contested the 2007 and 2012 elections. 

Historically, women are also less likely to be endorsed by political parties to run for National Parliament in Papua New Guinea, even though the majority of MPs elected to the National Parliament belong to a political party.

Recognising the inherent value of including women’s voices in PNG’s national legislature and other elected local assemblies, the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission and the United Nations Development Programme have been running a series of regional trainings to support women candidates.

The National Forum held from January 18-20 in Alotau aimed to build the knowledge and capacities of aspiring women leaders from across the country in advance of the National General Election to be held in June 2022.


Freddy Mou