Practically, in Papua New Guinea, there is no equal playing field for female candidates when it comes to the National Elections. Female candidates who contest for political leadership face a lot of challenges.

The Discussion Paper looks into two (2) main areas: i) why women are not elected into parliament; and ii) the main challenges faced during the 2017 National Elections. The research is based on a case study done in Lae and Huon Gulf Electorates in Morobe Province. The study was carried out to better understand the barriers women face in political participation. The study showed that despite female candidates’ good campaign strategies, they were faced with major challenges such as gendered stereotype sentiments, cultural perceptions, and money politics, which affect their campaign, and election outcome.

The PNG National Research Institute (PNG NRI) Discussion Paper No.178 titled; “Challenges and critical factors affecting women in the 2017 National Elections: Case of Lae and Huon Gulf, the authors, Mary Fairio, Sarah Kaut Nasengom and Cathy Keimelo suggest that approaches to support female candidates to increase their chances of winning national elections should be holistic, inclusive and sustainable.

The focus was on female candidates who contested the 2017 National Elections. It looks at their experiences in relation to the campaign, challenges faced during campaign, perceptions about factors that tend to influence election outcomes, and offers some recommendations to improve the participation of women in leadership at the national level.

The findings show that female candidates who contested the 2017 National Elections in Lae and Huon Gulf electorates lack resources, influence and money which are key determinants that influence votes in elections.

Read the full paper in PNG NRI Discussion Paper No. 178 on the PNG NRI website

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Authorised for release by:

Dr. Osborne Sanida
PNG NRI Director


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