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Women in Politics

Improving women’s participation in PNG politics: learning from recent success: CDI Makes a Difference to Women’s Political Representation | DevPolicy Blog | 21 June 2013

A recent blog post from Anthony Swan and Grant Walton from the Development Policy Centre notes that CDI’s program of Women Candidates Training before the 2012 national elections in PNG ‘shows how donors can make a difference’ in encouraging increased women’s political representation.

Swan and Walton note that the Governor of PNG’s Eastern Highlands, Julie Soso, credits ‘external support from the UNDP’s Practice Parliament (PP) training and the Centre for Democratic Institution’s (CDI) inaugural PNG Women Candidates Training Strategy (WCT)’ as having ‘helped her electoral prospects. Both training programs were organised by the PNG Office for the Development of Women, with the WCT funded through the Australian Aid Program. The training was open to all PNG women (and their campaign managers in the case of WCT).’ Governor Soso was one of three women candidates elected to the Parliament, another of whom, Loujaya Toni, also participated in the WCT.

The blog also quotes CDI Program Manager, Luke Hambly, who argues that WCT was successful because it ‘responded to demand from female candidates. Rather than trying to recruit women into politics, the program supported women who were already interested in becoming candidates’ and focussed on ‘how women could practically respond to the difficulties of standing for office and campaigning in PNG. The program showed women how to enrol as a candidate and identify their constituency. Acknowledging women’s limited financial resources, it highlighted the importance of efficiently raising money and using it well. The WCT also provided strategies for meaningfully engaging constituents as opposed to buying their vote.’

PNG academic and CDI Associate Dr Orovu Sepoe is also cited in the blog, saying that although some donor assistance in the past ‘resulted in widespread accusations of neo-colonial cultural interference …  the example of the WCT program shows that engagement with women candidates can support internal demand and avoid imposing a policy agenda’.

CDIs continuing support for increased women’s political representation in PNG has also recently been endorsed by the PNG-based blogger Emmanuel Narokobi. Posting on the The Masalai Blog, he endorses the work done by CDI, in partnership with PNG’s Office for the Development of Women, to develop and distribute a Campaign Handbook for women wanting to contest the 2013 local level government elections in PNG.

Click on these links for more:

  Improving women’s participation in PNG politics: learning from recent success | Anthony Swan & Grant Walton | Development Policy Centre Blog - 21 June 2013.
  PNG women debate national issues with vigour at first ever Practice Parliament for Women | Pacific Women in Politics - 26 April 2013
  PNG | Governor Soso visits ACT Legislative Assembly | 30 April 2013
  PNG | A Guide for Women Candidates in the 2013 LLG elections in PNG - Campaign Handbook Now Available
  Campaign Handbook: A Guide for Female Candidates in the 2013 PNG LLG Elections | Emmanuel Narokobi | The Masalai Blog - 20 June 2013
  Papua New Guinea Women Candidates Training Strategy Candidate & Campaign Manager Training completed for 2012 Elections
  CDI's Women in Politics Home Page








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The Australian National University

School of International, Political & Strategic Studies

The Centre for Democratic Institutions (CDI) supports the efforts of democracies in the Asia-Pacific region to strengthen their political systems. It provides training, technical assistance and peer support for parliamentarians, political party organisers and emerging leaders in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, with a particular focus on Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji. CDI sponsors research and publications on political change and democratic governance.

Established in 1998, CDI is funded by the Australian Government. The Centre is based in the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra.

© Centre for Democratic Institutions, The Australian National University. Please direct all comments to cdi@anu.edu.au. Last modified 28 August, 2014 CRICOSProvider Number: 00120C Web Counter



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