The general assumption is that women have always had a lower status then men in Papua New Guinea societies. This assumption is reflected in social indicators such as inadequate health services, resulting in extremely high maternal and infant mortality rates; low life expectancy; a high incidence of HIV/AIDS; vulnerability to abuse and violence; and low literacy rates.
The political sphere is no different, but low status is reinforced by the small numbers of women in high decision-making jobs in both public and private sectors, and more especially in political leadership roles.
This chapter studies how women fared in the Ijivitari Open Electorate in Oro Province in the 2007 general election in Papua New Guinea.
It is a chapter in the book edited by R.J. May, Ray Anere, Nicole Haley and Katherine Wheen (2013), ‘Election 2007: The Shift to Limited Preferential Voting in Papua New Guinea’, ANU Press.