"Women are leading change in PNG. Why are they not in Parliament?"

PORT MORESBY March 24, 2021: The Coalition of Parliamentarians to End Gender-Based Violence convened today in great honour of the legacy of the Founding Father of our Nation, Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare and recommitted to his vision of an equal, just, unified and peaceful Papua New Guinea.

They also met to lay plans to push for parliamentary reform on reserved seats for women in National Parliament.

Coalition members meeting on 22 March 2021

Coalition Co-Chair the Hon. Powes Parkop, MP and Governor for National Capital District, stated: “Today, as your elected Members of Parliament, we commit to use our political platforms to promote women in leadership positions in our country, particularly Parliament. Women are leading change everywhere in our country. Why are they not in Parliament?”


"Today, as your elected Members of Parliament, we commit to use our political platforms to promote women in leadership positions in our country, particularly Parliament. Women are leading change everywhere in our country. Why are they not in Parliament? - Hon Powes Parkop, Governor of NCD

Co-Chair, the Hon. Allan Bird, Governor of East Sepik Province, stated: “As the 2022 elections near, we commit to work with our brother MPs to balance our next Parliament with the equal inclusion of women’s voices.”


Hon. Charles Abel, Member for Alotau and Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on GBV, stated: “As a first step, we need reserved seats for women immediately. Prime Minister Marape’s consideration of such a proposal encourages us, as does the work of the Integrity for Political Parties and Candidates Commission push political parties to nominate women candidates in the upcoming elections.”

Governor Parkop continued by saying: “Women leaders inside our National Parliament will bring the men and women of Papua New Guinea together to address the ongoing scourge of violence against the women and girls. Our violence has, and continues to, hurt us all. We commit to stand beside our sisters, to make room for them at the table of national governance, and to play our role in voicing their needs in a parliament that is currently void of their presence. We urge all the men and women of our country to join us.”

"As a first step, we need reserved seats for women immediately. Prime Minister Marape’s consideration of such a proposal encourages us, as does the work of the Integrity for Political Parties and Candidates Commission push political parties to nominate women candidates in the upcoming elections" - Hon Charles Abel, MP for Alotau

The Coalition, comprising 20 Parliamentarians from across Papua New Guinea, reaffirmed the Resolution they endorsed on 24 August 2020 and called upon the entire nation to follow suit. Collectively, significant strides have been made against their promises made last year.


The Hon. Charles Abel went on to say: “We have six more sessions of Parliament ahead of us and we promise to use our time to do better for the women and girls of our country – which will benefit us all. We thank the government for the establishment of this Committee, and it is a deep honour and responsibility to be appointed Chair”.

Governor Bird closed by saying: “Let us all, men and women of Papua New Guinea, honour Sir Michael, the founder of our nation, by continuing his legacy and achieving his dream of equality. One people, women and men, one nation, united under God.”


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is providing technical support to the Special Parliamentary Committee on GBV as part of its gender programming and the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, addressing Gender-Based Violence and longer-term efforts to promote women’s participation and leadership in the Parliament.



- ENDS



Authorized by:

Coalition of Parliamentarians Against Gender-based Violence

– 22 March 2021

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