Tuesday, January 18, 2022

National Forum on Women's Political Participation Hosted in Alotau 2022

By Claudio Labeli
The Registry of Political Parties held a National Forum on Women’s Political Participation in Alotau, Milne Bay Province starting on the 18th and ending on the 20th of January 2022. The national forum is a partnership of the Registry of Political Parties and UNDP conducting Women’s Mentoring workshops on how to win elections. This came about due to the non political representation of women MPs in the 10th parliament after the national elections in 2017. The Registry of Political Parties initially began conducting the provincial mentoring program and covered all provinces except Hela, Southern Highlands and
New Ireland Province. This later led to the Regional workshop covering three regions except the highlands region. This was due to the disruption by COVID19 Delta strain in mid 2021. The final forum was supposed to be held in November however had to be postponed three times before hosting it in January 2022.This national forum in Alotau will be the final one before the 2022 general election in April. In his opening remarks, the Registrar of Political Parties, Dr Alphonse Gelu stressed that there is not a lot of time remaining before the issue of writs and encouraged Women to affiliate with political parties before going into the elections. The Registrar acknowledged also the support and funding by key stakeholders such as the UNDP, UN Women and the Australian and New Zealand government for their donor funding assistance.
Dignitaries who where present at the forum included UNDP Resident Representative Dirk Wagener, Acting Provincial Administrator Sharon Mua, Alotau MP Hon Charles Abel, Australian High Commissioner HE Jon Philp, UN Women Resident Representative Themaba Kalua and UNDP Assistant Resident Representative Julie Bukikun.
Other stakeholders who where in attendance included PNG Electoral Commission,National Research Institute (NRI) and Transparency International (TI) PNG and selected political parties.