PM commits to tabling bill on reserved seats

National, Normal

THE national government will table the proposed bill on the 22 reserved seats for women in parliament in this session of parliament.
Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare said the proposed Equality and Participation Bill, to enact 22 reserved seats for women by an elective process, was now on the notice paper of the parliamentary business and the government would discuss it come Nov 16.
“The government will elaborate on the proposed legislation during the coming parliament session to ensure women have a fair representation in the highest decision making process,” Sir Michael said in a statement yesterday.
“Women play important roles in all societies and many of them are decision makers and leaders in both private and public sectors. 
“The government will ensure they have a fair representation in parliament,” Sir Michael said.
The prime minister reaffirmed his ongoing commitment and, recently, also assured visiting US state secretary Hillary Clinton that
the government would give its unwavering support to ensure women have a voice at the highest level.
Sir Michael told Clinton: “I am fully aware of your steadfast commitment to advancing the issues of women not only in the US but globally.
“My government is fully committed in empowering women as equal developmental partners for nation-building.
“My government has, therefore, taken the bold initiative to reflect these in the overall national development strategies and plans that are inclusive of this fundamental human right, which our national constitution aptly recognised and provides,” he told Clinton last Wednesday.
“I am mindful a lot of work needs to be done on this, but I am pleased that we embarked on the right path that will pave the way for our women and girls to take their rightful place in national affairs as equal developmental partners,” the prime minister added.