Papua New Guinea is a male dominated society. With this in mind, it is unsurprising to see that most of the candidates in this year’s national general elections is dominated by men. We’ve taken a look at some of the statistics provided by the National Electoral Commission for this year’s elections and while there seems to be some change in the number of women contesting this year, there is still a long way to go.
This year a total number of candidates contesting in the elections is 3,332. Of that number, 165 are women which makes up 5% of the total number of candidates contesting. The number of women participants has seen an increase but still marginally low.
There are some interesting information that can be taken out from the information provided by the National Electoral Office for this year’s elections. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting facts.
Region with highest number of women participants
The region with the highest number of women participating in the 2017 elections is Central Province and Madang with 14 candidates apiece followed by Morobe and National Capital District with 13 apiece and Gulf and Easter Highlands with 12 apiece.
Electorate with highest number of women participants
Rigo Open in the Central Province has 8 women contesting in this coming elections which is the highest number of women candidates in a particular electorate. One less than Rigo is Gulf with 7, followed by Moresby North East at 6 and Manus at 5.
No women candidates in a particular region
There is only one region which has no women contesting in this elections and that is West New Britain Province. This might come as a surprise to many but it is not exactly known why this appears to be the case.
No women candidates in electorates
There are 37 electorates out of a total of 111 where there are no women candidates contesting the 2017 elections. Highlands region has the highest number out of the 37 with 20 electorates without a women candidate. New Guinea Islands is a distant second with 8 candidates without a women candidate followed by Momase with 7 and finally Southern with 2.
The fact that Highlands region has the highest number of electorates without a women candidate might not come as a surprise as this region is highly male dominated society. That’s not to say that it is entirely male dominated because there is a female Julie Soso who is a current member. But the information does indeed confirm that it is a little tough (but not impossible) for women to succeed in this region.
The only two electorates in the Southern region without a women candidate are both in the Milne Bay Province – Esa’ala and Kiriwina.
Average candidates per electorate
One average, there are about 30 candidates per electorate contesting in this elections. From a female participating perspective, the average is a disappointing 1.5.
Despite the low female participating figures, it’s important to note that historically the number has been far lower so the recent statistics are an improvement – if you can call it that. It will take a while before we see a far higher female participation. Let’s also not forget that in general there is an ever increasing number of male candidates putting their hands up to contest and this might to a certain extent erode the percentage of female participation level.