It’s not about women but choice

Letters, Normal

The National

Please allow me to highlight what I think is the biggest mistake in PNG political history.
Since this Government took power, we have seen the pressure for women to be in Parliament.
Two of the main reasons for the push were to ensure equal participation and representation and the hope that women will bring changes.
The Government has bowed to the demand and agreed to nominate three women to Parliament.
Last week, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has thrown its weight behind the call to increase women representation.
It applauded the recent governors’ meeting where a proposal to have 22 seats reserved for women was made.
I call this absurd.
Why? There are three reasons.
First, PNG is a democratic nation and at the core of our democracy is equal political participation and representation.
We have faithfully stood by it and history is our witness. There were women who were successful at the elections while others were not, simply because people made their choice – choice that is simply democratic.
Second, what PNG is about to undertake is unique compared to other democratic nations, for instance Australia. It is more than 60 years old and has never practised that, not even when they celebrated 34 years of independence.
The UN and Australian government must admit that even when they were PNG’s age, they were no recognition for women, not even close to the extent that we are planning to do.
With the belief in the democratic system, all they did was raise awareness until such a point where the people were able to make “better” judgments and choices.
Have we waited long enough for this to happen?
No, we are frantically impatient.
It is not the appointment, it is the choice that makes a seat legitimate but to shovel them in is just a joke.
Third, PNG needs good leaders to bring the nation forward, not the “sex” of representatives.
If it means getting all the women in there and to move us forward, that is great. On the other hand, if all the “bald headed, big tummy” men can do a better job, so be it.
We cannot just let women enter Parliament without election because election is where people analyse policies, observes leadership qualities, passion and pride they have for the office and the people at large.
I call the UN and Australia to stop influencing and fiddling with PNG’s domestic politics.
PNG’s democratic election system does not violate any international laws or cause disturbance.
We may be underdeveloped, corrupt and visionless but we are young and we still have a dream within.

Yes we can
New South Wales