TRIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF THE NEW ZEALAND FEDERATION OF GRADUATE WOMEN:  TAKING EFFECTIVE ACTION:  SAT...
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TRIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF THE NEW ZEALAND FEDERATION OF GRADUATE WOMEN: TAKING EFFECTIVE ACTION: SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER 2009 PGW NET PARTNERSHIPS – NZFGW IN THE PACIFIC. WOMEN’S STATUS IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA AND SOLOMON ISLANDS ANDRINA KL THOMAS SOCIAL ENTERPRISE PHD STUDENT

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TRIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF THE NEW ZEALAND FEDERATION OF GRADUATE WOMEN: TAKING EFFECTIVE ACTION: SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER 2009PGW NET PARTNERSHIPS – NZFGW IN THE PACIFIC

WOMEN’S STATUS

IN

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

AND

SOLOMON ISLANDS

ANDRINA KL THOMAS

SOCIAL ENTERPRISE PHD STUDENT

UNIVERSITY OF WAIKATO


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Presentation Outline GRADUATE WOMEN: TAKING EFFECTIVE ACTION: SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER 2009

Women in Melanesian Parliaments, 2008

Status of Women in Top Ranking Positions in Civil Service as of November 2008

Women’s status in Papua New Guinea

Conclusion

Women’s status in Solomon Islands

Conclusion


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2008 Women in Melanesian Parliaments GRADUATE WOMEN: TAKING EFFECTIVE ACTION: SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER 2009

  • The Impact of Electoral Systems on Women’s Representation in Pacific Parliaments by:

  • Jon Fraenkel, Australian National University


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Nov 2008 Women in Civil Service Top Ranking GRADUATE WOMEN: TAKING EFFECTIVE ACTION: SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER 2009

Positions

  • Table 2: Share of Women in Top Ranking Positions in the Civil Service as of November 2008

  • Jon Fraenkel, Australian National University


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PNG Women in National Parliament GRADUATE WOMEN: TAKING EFFECTIVE ACTION: SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER 2009


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Women’s Status in Papua New Guinea GRADUATE WOMEN: TAKING EFFECTIVE ACTION: SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER 2009

  • Dame Lady Carol Kidu, DBE, and Member of Parliament:

  • A Secondary school teacher for 20 years

  • A part-time text book writer

  • A politician for 13 years from 1997-2009

  • Entered politics in 1997 as candidate for Papua New Guinea parliamentary elections and elected for Port Moresby South constituency

  • She was re-elected in 2002 and 2007

  • First female cabinet minister in PNG as Minister for Community Development and Sports Minister

  • Islands Business named her: 2007 Person of the Year for her work towards poverty alleviation; against domestic violence and child abuse; against HIV and AIDS; and in favour of women’s empowerment


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Women’s Status in Papua New Guinea GRADUATE WOMEN: TAKING EFFECTIVE ACTION: SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER 2009

  • “Politics is not an easy road”

  • Female candidate after 2002 election – perhaps the worst election in PNG’s history

  • Dame Kidu established the following programmes/projects:

  • CODE Centre in Village

  • BPW Scholarship Scheme for girls

  • Ginigoada Business Development Foundation

  • Moresby South Pre-School Association


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Numbers of PNG Women in Parliament GRADUATE WOMEN: TAKING EFFECTIVE ACTION: SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER 2009

  • Since 1972, there has been a maximum of 2.2% women in any one term of Parliament

  • Currently less than 1%

  • Women candidates never greater than 5% of all candidates

  • BUT women are 50% of the population so we are NOT a representative democracy


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Figures on women in elections – GRADUATE WOMEN: TAKING EFFECTIVE ACTION: SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER 2009the women are invisible


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Women in other political levels GRADUATE WOMEN: TAKING EFFECTIVE ACTION: SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER 2009

  • Autonomous Bougainville Government – 3 Reserved seats for women (men & women vote)

  • Motu-Koitabu Assembly – 2 Reserved seats for women (women vote)

  • Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Governments includes provision for nominated women at provincial and local level but poorly implemented

  • An increasing number of women (but not enough) are winning at local level elections


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The Legislative Framework for Women in Politics GRADUATE WOMEN: TAKING EFFECTIVE ACTION: SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER 2009

  • An Enabling National Constitution

  • Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Government

  • Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates

  • Laws on Electoral Process

  • Lack of Affirmative Action in existing legislation – need for legislative reform to bring change


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What has been happening since the Constitution was enacted in 1975?

  • PNG’s systems of family and community relationships in many of our cultures exclude women from leadership and decision making roles in the public sphere

  • Cultural, systemic and financial obstacles prevent women from participation in the National Parliament


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Conclusion in 1975?

  • Systemic bias against women

  • Women do not have

    • equality of opportunity to stand for election

    • equal participation in Parliament

    • broad representation in Parliament

  • Women have a right to make decisions on matters that affect their lives

  • THE KEY IS EDUCATION

  • There is a need for a paradigm shift in attitudes at all levels so that our people gain a better understanding of the true role of a politician and the importance of women in leadership


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Women’s Status in Solomon Islands in 1975?

  • One woman parliamentarian elected a few years back: Hilda Kari elected for 2 consecutive period representing Guadalcanal up to 2003

  • From 2003 there is currently no women parliamentarians

  • Systemic bias against women

  • Women do not have

    • equality of opportunity to stand for election

    • equal participation in Parliament

    • broad representation in Parliament

  • National Goals & Directive Principles not achieved


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Women’s Status in Solomon Islands in 1975?

  • Violence against women major barrier and common practice in Solomon Islands

  • Many forms of sexual violence occur: child sexual abuse by family members; commercial sexual exploitation of girls; sexual violence during armed conflict; and gang rape of girls often by young men

  • Violence exacerbated by pervasive poverty and low status of women with respect to men

  • Women’s participation in public leadership positions is almost non-existent

  • National Women’s Council movement has weakened in recent years


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Women’s Status in Solomon Islands in 1975?

  • 580,000 as Solomon Islands’ population in 1999 and women make up half of the population

  • 67% of Adult women are literate

  • 79% of girls are accessing primary education

  • 24% are accessing secondary education from Forms 4-7 while 43.4% of urban girls are being educated

  • 5% accessing tertiary education

  • Priority must be given to educate more females

  • 84% of Adult men are literate

  • Stop gender stereotyping for female domestic roles

  • 5 Women are permanent secretaries and 3 females are secondary school principals compared to 100 males


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Women’s Status in Solomon Islands in 1975?

  • National goals and directive principles for gender equity and empowerment contained in state’s strategic plan

  • More qualified women are accessing top-ranking jobs in the civil service but not in legislature

  • WOMEN DON’T WANT OTHER WOMEN TO SUCCEED IN SOLOMON ISLANDS AND LEADERSHIP IS A MAN’S DOMAIN

  • HOW DO WE RECTIFY THIS PROBLEM?

  • Accession to CEDAW convention and state playing active role in appointing more women into decision-making roles

  • State instituting Affirmative Action Plans


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Conclusion in 1975?

  • Needs a paradigm shift in cultural attitudes in the community level as well as widespread education to change predominant patriarchal mindsets:

  • Contemporary cultures in the Pacific and Solomon Islands still tends to be conservative and patriarchal, reflecting a colonial and missionary heritage as well as a reluctance to change a status quo which favours men politically, socially, economically and administratively.

  • In some Pacific societies, women are worse off in some ways now than they were traditionally because protective customs and traditional protocols of women’s power and influence have either disappeared or are being abused.


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Conclusion in 1975?

  • Women’s access to education is limited leading to lesser leadership opportunities and chances to improve opportunities for other women

  • Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development employs more men that women

  • Women hold very few senior positions at the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development IN 2004

  • Solomon Islands Parliament has no female members

  • Therefore, low levels of representation mean:

  • WOMEN’S ISSUES NOT HEARD NOR ADDRESSED!!






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