Gender equity law to be passed in 2018: Commission


A GENDER Equity Law (GEL) will be passed in 2018 to cater for areas like gender issues and discrimination against women, Constitutional and Law Reform Commission project coordinator Walo Wayne says.
He said at a recent gender forum that, “the Gender Equity Law (GEL) is in its preliminary stages. This involves an NEC (National Executive Council) submission where the NEC will give its directive on the development of the law.
“We are currently finalising a report on the proposed development of the Gender Equity Law. This law is proposed to cater for areas like discrimination against women and other gender issues,” Wayne said.
Wayne said the consultative process would begin as the drafting of the law eventuated and they planned to have a draft bill out by the end of next year.
At the moment CLRC is working with Department of Community Development and other stakeholders to review key pieces of legislation to eliminate discrimination against women
He said they were all working together in compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). CEDAW is an important human rights convention that promoted equality between men and women, by eliminating all forms of discrimination against women through laws developed by member states ratifying the convention.
Papua New Guinea ratified CEDAW in 1995.
Wayne said CLRC commissioners with key partners began the CEDAW legislative review in 2013 and only this year UN Women came on board to provide support for the programme and work has progressed well.
He said the key programmes they carried out were:

  • A legislative review;
  • Development of the Gender Equity Law;
  • CEDAW reporting spearheaded by Department for Community Development; and,
  • Bougainville Women’s Protection Law.

Wayne said under the current review programme the following pieces of legislation were identified by the committee that needed amendment to meet the current need of women: Arrest Act 1977, Bail Act 1977, Employment Act 1978 and Family Protection Act 2013.

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