Women in PNG politics the focus of Independence Day Oration

Media release

27 November 2012

Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Richard Marles will welcome Dame Carol Kidu to Parliament House today to deliver the second PNG Independence Day Oration.

Dame Kidu will speak on the role of women in PNG politics and the challenges they face.

"It is a real pleasure to have Dame Kidu here in Canberra to share her experience of women's participation in PNG political life. She is uniquely placed to speak about this subject," Mr Marles said.

"Dame Kidu was born in Australia and served as a Member of Parliament in PNG from 1997 until her retirement this year. For 10 of those years, she was the only woman in Parliament.

"In developing countries, women make up 18 per cent of parliamentarians, but in the Pacific there are just a handful of women MP's.

"Australia is committed to helping our neighbours increase the participation of women in politics.

"'The Prime Minister's new 10-year, $320 million gender equality initiative, 'Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development', will support leadership opportunities for women across PNG and the Pacific."

The PNG Oration was inaugurated in 2011 to broaden understanding of the relationship between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

"Our relationship with Papua New Guinea is central to Australia's foreign policy interests and the Oration is a great vehicle for increasing understanding of our nearest neighbour," Mr Marles said.

Media enquiries

  • Parliamentary Secretary's Office: (02) 6277 4330
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555
  • AusAID Media: 0417 680 590