At the sub-national level, out of the 319 local level governments (LLGs) and 6,190 wards, less than 2% of the total number of elected LLG presidents and ward councilors are women.

So, what are the issues hindering women candidates from being elected into offices at the sub-national level?

  • Do women candidates face the same challenges as men candidates?
  • Does gender influence their campaign strategies and voter’s preferences?
  • What are the main challenges that women face when campaigning and voting?

These are some of the questions the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute’s Gender in PNG Research Program will address in their upcoming study titled “Women in the 2018 LLG Elections”.

Related to the study conducted last year on women in the 2017 National Elections, the research team is now shifting its focus to women candidates in elections at the sub-national level.

The study will cover four provinces, one representing each region of the country – Morobe, East New Britain, Eastern Highlands and Central. From each province, the research team will identify and follow the election journey of five women candidates, documenting from the campaigning period to the polling period.

The objective of the study is to understand the issues and challenges that affect women candidates’ performance and outcome during LLG Elections in order to improve current women’s political participation in the political arena.

Phase 1 of the study begins this month with a series of workshops in Lae, Goroka, Kokopo and Port Moresby.

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