Reserved seats bill highly discriminatory

Letters, Normal

The National, Tuesday 29th November 2011

MY view on the passage of the proposed constitutional amendment to the Equa­lity and Participation Bill last week is itself discriminatory and will duplicate the functions of regional members.
Parliament has encouraged discrimination by reserving seats for 22 women.
Women can now enter parliament through two ways – as an Open or Regional MP or the reserved seats.
This has made politics in favour of women.
We have had women who became MPs through the normal democratic process.
They contested just like any other citizen and won on merit.
Will this bill undermine the credibility of women in politics?
As I see it, the 22 women will be duplicating the roles of governors.
This will add more burden on the citizens, especially taxpayers.
Hundreds of millions of kina will have to be raised and allocated for the additional 22 MPs’ salaries, perks and privileges.
As a result, the children in the rural areas will continue to miss out on education, no medicines for aid posts, pregnant mothers will continue to give birth under the trees or beside the rivers, etc.
What a shame.
Jackson Pinen
Via email