FIFTY intending women candidates for the 2017 National General Elections will undergo a week of training on parliamentary processes.
In a highly competitive process, participants from 22 provinces were selected from more than 200 applicants and will be trained on critical national policy issues, parliamentary processes and campaign strategies from March 6-13 in Port Moresby.
With only three women MPs out of 111 in the current Parliament, women continue to be under-represented as political leaders and elected officials.
Highly qualified candidates from doctors to village women and women from other sectors of the community applied for PNG Practice Parliament for Women training, highlighting just how many women are keen to represent PNG and be active in political life.
The program aims to empower intending candidates to prepare themselves in the lead up to upcoming national elections in April 2017.
The program, organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in coordination with Office of Integrity of Political Parties, The National Parliament and Department of Community Development and Religion, will culminate with a practice session in the PNG National Parliament chamber on 13 March 2017.
The UNDP PNG Acting Resident Representative, Tracy Vienings, said: “UNDP is very proud to be supporting the Practice Parliament for the second time in Papua New Guinea. We believe it is important to ensure that PNG women have the opportunity and ability to actively participate in politics.
“This training will develop women candidate’s skills not only in campaigning for elections, but also in engaging with policy issues that are critical to PNG’s future. That is the role of an MP, and we want to help women prepare to become elected representatives.”
The 50 participants were selected by a screening committee, and were also cross-checked with the Electoral Commission to ensure each participant filled in a Form 29 to contest the 2017 elections.
The final list of participants is available below and on the Facebook page: “PNG Practice Parliament for Women 2017.