22 reserved seats valid under CEDAW

Letters, Normal

The National, Monday 05th December 2011

I would like to counter some myths and misguided interpretations that have been aired with regards to the women’s bill.
PNG, as a signatory to CEDAW (convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women), has a responsibility to ensure that all the articles of CEDAW enshrined are acted upon.
PNG has agreed to ratify all articles without any reservation.
This includes article 4.1 which states: Adoption by states of temporary special measures aimed at accelerating de facto equality between men and women shall not be considered discrimination as defined in the present convention, but shall in no way entail as a consequence the maintenance of unequal or separate standards; these measures shall be disconti­nued when the objectives of equality of opportunity and treatment have been achieved.
In layman’s terms, it means this standard will and must be dis­continued once the balance is achieved.
We can cry foul but what we need is to change our mindset.
The fact is there is gender imbalance in the political field and as a signatory to CEDAW, the government is entitled to impose laws to improve the situation.
This is democratic and constitutional.
Do not be misguided

Jeffery Hasimani
Via email