Thursday, February 2

Aus-PNG Network: Women in politics in PNG – Damarise Bonga

This is a special Women in Politics series for the Australia-PNG Network, in which the Lowy Institute’s Jessica Collins sits down with prominent women from Papua New Guinea (PNG) to discuss the deep-seated challenge of women’s political representation in the country.

In this third episode, Jessica speaks with Damarise Bonga, a female candidate in the upcoming 2022 national election. Damarise shares her experience of running unsuccessfully in a prior election, and talks about the broader challenges for women trying to represent their communities in parliament. She says a fundamental issue lies in how people (both men and women) perceive leadership in PNG, and how this continues to be a significant barrier to balanced representation in the country.

“In politics, in PNG it’s quite different … They think that the Parliament is … hausman in Tok Pisin, meaning that it’s a house for man. And that’s kind of bias, you know.”

Join Jessica and Damarise as they talk about how women can be more successful in future elections, including Damarise’s views on all-women political parties and decentralising women’s political leadership development programs.

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