Women And Politics In Papua New Guinea.

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.


About rodney itaki

Medical doctor and public health specialist from Papua New Guinea.
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22 Responses to Women And Politics In Papua New Guinea.

  1. Cynthia says:

    In the national of yesterday, there were about four or five women endorsed by the People’s Action party, headed by Gabriel Kapris. In the group was our colleague Dr. Paimnok and Janet Sape, two or three others, can’t remember their names but the number was encouraging.

    Personally, I think women can do a better job in running the affairs of the country if given the support from their male counterparts.

    At the moment, the kind of mentality PNG men have on women, it will take some more years before women can equally participate in politics..

  2. rodney itaki says:

    Thanks Cynthia for the infor.

    Didn’t know Dr Piamnok is a candidate in this elections! Thumbs up for her. Janet Sape is a good candidate, I think.

    And absolutely agree that women can do a MUCH BETTER JOB AS MPs!

  3. Cynthia says:

    Mi tu surprise taim mi lukim name blong em. Na Janet Sape ya, you raun long Pom bai you harim ol man long street tok Janet Sape (save) long mipla. She is a threat to the N.C.D regional male candidates.

    mi full sapot long ol meri candidates…woohoooo…go ladies, take the men down…

  4. rodney itaki says:

    Yeah..totally agree.

    The NCD regional seat – probably between Janet Sape and Vari Vele?

  5. Cynthia says:

    Wari Vele ya, according to my aunty, last week Friday ya em hirim police escort na ol raunim NCD. Ol police ya lukim money na tingting paol na ol lus tingting olsem ol no suppose long sapotim wanpla man. Corruption comes in different forms, shapes and sizes… scarry stuff…

  6. Grace Gela says:

    Is there any updates on this issue of Women Candidates in 2012?


  7. Jill says:

    Yes, Grace there is more updates for 2012, We are campaigning for 22 reserves seats for women in the parliament for 2012. The bill has already been on the Notice and now we want the people on PNG to think about it and tell their MPs to vote for the bill when it is floored in the next parliament seating in July.

  8. Percy Harek says:

    I’m a male and I strongly supported the women in this country to be politicians because few male politicians today are corrupted with miss of used of funs and practice corruption in the government, however only one lady who is a politician Carol Kidu I tell you I love what she is doing at the moment especially with the community development. As a true Papua New Guinean I will give my full support on who ever woman this year who is contesting for the elections. I’m optimistic that women can run this country if men can not. Give a try women because not only women supporting you people, but they are some males like myself who have faith in you, till then May Bless you all.


    Percy Harek

  9. Angella John says:

    I’m still a student, but my leadership will not begin or start when I work, it starts today. I have a confidence that I can beacome a leader right now not tomorro. Tomorrow has its own plan. If I wait for tommorow, then tomorrow will bring another tomorrow and the taught of becoming a leader will slowly fades away. Women of papua New Guinea dont feel down, think big to develop our nation and dominate your power. I strongly agree and support that women can become politician. Nothing is impossible if only we have trust and confidence that we can do it.

    To conclude, next election if we elect many women into the parliment then Papua NewGuinea will be in a better position to overcome social and ecconomica problems

  10. Imbokeri says:

    I would like to thank each and everyone of you who are supporting the campaing for more women to be elected into the Parliment. Today we see a lot of men MP’s and this men a not complying to their status as leaders of this beautiful nation of ours. They are just spoiling the soup, I would say! Wanting to become a leader, comes responsibilities and obligations. From my own point of view, I see these men as wanting to gain power, authority,dominency and what we all call “Big man” type of character. They are not carrying out their task to serve the people of this nation. By the way, wihout us they are noting because we gave them the power. So if these men can’t do their Jobs well, why not lets give women a try to run this country. And I promise you, you wont regreat your actions, we all will see a big change. Thus, I urge all Papua New Guinean’s to vote for more women into Paliament in the Next Elections because I believe they will run and serve the people of this nation as true mothers of our country. It is very evident to what Dame Carol Kidu is individually doing. “Thanks mums for what you are doing for my country”. Let’s vote more women to help her out!
    Come on PNG, weak up.

  11. Women in should be given a space in parliament and reserved seats must be allocated.
    If Bougainville can do it, why not the PNG government.
    Wake up male leaders of this country, you are corrupting PNG. Where are we heading now???
    Stand together and lets support our women because they are our mothers.

  12. Peston says:

    Women are the back bones of this country believe it or not, our societies is made up of both women and men, therefore women are the half of the solution in our society. My point is women should be elected to the Parliament because half of the solution is missing we need women in the parliament to solve some of our problems. Why our male politicians could not solve the problems, every society need women and every solution need both men and women, vote for women people because I do believe that it will work out if only we vote for women into the parliament. thanks


  13. John Varey says:

    I totally agree that women should be given an equal opportunity to provide a balance perspective to all decision making process that affects humanity and more so in politics. The way forward to have more women in parliment through the democratic election process, is for women to be more strategic in election campaign. I have written a handbook titled “Winning Strategies for a Successful Election Campaign” and as I write this I wa in a process of inviting Hon. Dame Carol Kidu to launch it on 19th December. I really want to conduct workshops for all women candidates to strategise to win election. This is because developing a wining strategy for a political election campaigh is one of the difficult and yet critical part of preparing for election campaign. Because it is difficult, many candiadtes run into election without a strategy and are disappointed with the results. Unless women can be more strategic in their preparation and running for election, their chances of winning election through the democratic process is slim. I see no better way but to have in place a winning strategy for a successful election campaign before running for election.

    • rodney itaki says:

      Thank you John for your comments. Has your book been published yet? And any electronic copy? I would like to invite you to write summaries of chapters in your book and publish them on my blog.

      Rodney Itaki

    • Rachale Konaka says:

      Hi John
      I totally agree with training for women intending to run in the election. I contested in the North Bougainville By election without any prior experience or training workshop and was the runner up to the current member. I will be very interested to have a copy of your book and attend the training in preparation for 2012 election . I belive women can make a difference in politics if given chance and support .

      • Rodney says:

        Hey Rachale, glad to know you will context the 2012 election. I agree with your comments – “women can make a difference” in PNG politics.

  14. Ethel says:

    Jill, I’m really happy learn that you are campaigning for 22 reserves seats for women in the parliament for 2012. This is amazing! I wish you all the best.

  15. Jessica Wape says:

    I think women also contributed alot into the social and economical development of PNG and needs to be recognised for their achievements not only as a women but a mother of an household with so many responsibilities.This society is a patrilineal society where decision making are based on mens intinct and not women.Men are always become dominion in every decision making but it is the women who faced alot of consequences of the decisions that are made by the men.Men always supressed women by seeing them as inferior whereas they see themselves as superior.PNG men know very well that women are to submit under men in which the bible also talks about it and I am keen to say that PNG culture is biblically oriented unlike that of the Western societies. That goal of gender equality and empowering women as enshrined in the MDG is more social and applicable in the Western Societies as they have a uniform culture which influenced their mind to think and act alike in a concensus manner for the development of their country.PNG is culturally diverse and peoples mindsets are more complex that it really affects the peoples behaviour to as to how they see the world.That is why PNG men has this strong mentality not to involved women in the politics unlike in the Australia where a lady can be a Prime Minister.And this is a real challenged to all the women of PNG that we have a strong barrier that needs to be broken in our society and that is more about psychologically influeincing the PNG men inorder to changed their mentality and perception of their own country women from the negative to a positive view within the social and economic sector of PNG, especially with in the poltical arena with in the fabric of this society.I know that this would be a challenging and tedious task to do but this is how the women of PNG must do now.PNG Women needs to change the PNG mens mind inorder to be empowered.

    • rodney itaki says:

      Thanks Jessica for that. My personal experience has been that women have the influence in the home, though men may have the power. Home is where the change begins I believe.

      Rodney Itaki

  16. Kapi kokore says:

    indenting candidate -Kapi kokore— in kainantu open seat 20012
    If other developed countries in the world identify equal participation of women in politics..why not we give a go go go…for Janet Sape for NCD Regional Seat

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