Registry: Women can make parties stronger

National

WOMEN must be included in political parties and contest in elections, according to the Registry of Political Parties.
The registry said this was one of the highlights of a strong political party in an information booklet for parties released last week.
“It is important for all political parties to include women as members of their parties and endorse women candidates to create gender balance and allow for fair representation of other interest groups,” the booklet said.
“Women make up half the population so parties are encouraged to include women as members and candidates.”
The registry said women had stood in every election since the First House of Assembly in 1964 but had very low parliamentary representation.
“Only seven women have won elections and become MPs since 1964,” it said.
The main focus now is to increase the number of women to stand for elections in our country.
“The Registry of Political Parties is now encouraging political parties to endorse an equal number of men and women to stand for elections.
“In the most-recent 2012 election, three new women candidates were successfully elected to the national parliament and they were all party-endorsed candidates.”
Sohe MP Delilah Gore and Eastern Highlands Governor Julie Soso were voted in as Triumph Heritage Empowerment (THE) Party candidates, who are now with the ruling People’s National Congress.
Lae MP Loujaya Kouza stood under the Indigenous Party, joined the PNC Party and recently joined THE Party.
Records show that in 2002, out of 2870 candidates 71 were females, 49 of whom were endorsed by a party and 22 independents, with one (Dame Carol Kidu) being successful.
In 2007, out of 2759 candidates 103 were females, 22 parties endorsed candidates, number of party-endorsed candidates was 39 and 64 independents, with one (Dame Carol) being successful.
In 2012, out of 3848 candidates, 135 were females, 21 parties endorsed candidates, number of party-endorsed candidates was 42 and 92 independents with three who are Gore, Soso and Kouza that were voted into the parliament.

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