Toni: Pass bill if you’re serious

National, Normal

The National,Wednesday18 January 2012

POOR marketing, misinformation and miscommunication on the 22 reserved seats for women has resulted in its poor reception around the country, a women’s leader says.
Loujaya Toni, who is doing her Masters in Communication Development at the University of Technology, has challenged the O’Neill-led government to look at the bigger picture.
Toni said the government could restore confidence in international partners and win a vote of confidence from the women of the country by ensuring that it got into power after the 2012 general election by honouring the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) convention and other United Nations treaties agreed to by past governments.
“Just produce an overwhelming vote for the Bill on the 22 reserved seats for women.
“It is that simple,” Toni said.
“If that vote is passed in favour of women, you can be assured that every sister is going to make sure their name is on the common roll and maybe vie for the regional seat and end up being the deputy governor, and put them in charge of the Millennium Development Goals roll-out,” she said.
Toni warned that international partners in development would draw their conclusions on what kind of regime the O’Neill-led government could be turning into and grant it the benefit of the doubt.
“All eyes of the United Nations member countries are on the O’Neill government and the Somare-led faction to come good on this crucial vote.
“It will up the credibility rating of this government after weeks of ill-advised nosedives.
“If this Bill falls flat today this government and its opposition will be reshuffled by the people of Papua New Guinea.
“So come good and honour our international agreements.
“Pass the Women’s Bill today and then rigidly screen capable women who can aggressively rollout the Millennium Development Goals for a comprehensive 2015 report card,” Toni said.