State of the Pacific 2018: Leadership at the Local Level: Women’s Political Participation in PNG

While there is a relatively large body of research on women’s participation in national-level politics in PNG, comparatively little is known about the experience of women in sub-national politics. Research tells us that for women candidates in Melanesia, being deeply connected to their constituents, having the support of male leaders and strong networks throughout their electorate, and having established a reputation as someone who can deliver benefits for the community are critically important to performing well in national elections. But are these same factors key determinants of women candidates’ electoral performances in local level elections? And are they the factors that see women appointed as women’s representatives on political assemblies? Are there other factors that are important? This session will hear lessons learned and personal experiences concerning women’s leadership at the local level in PNG. What challenges do they face and how do they overcome them? Does experience at the local level build a pathway to leadership at the national level? Outside of formal politics, how do women collaborate and negotiate to have a voice in the public domain?

Speakers: Nicole Haley, Head of Department, Department of Pacific Affairs, ANU

Almah Tararia, PhD Candidate, Department of Pacific Affairs, ANU

Councillor Carol Yawing, Ward 2, Lae Urban LLG, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea

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