Women's Representation and the Use of Reserved Seats in Bougainville

SSGM In Brief

Author/s (editor/s):

Kerryn Baker

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In Brief

The Autonomous Region of Bougainville currently has the Pacific's only parliamentary reserved seats for women system. While the system guarantees a minimum level of representation for women in the Bougainville House of Representatives, concerns have been raised that the reserved seats act as a ceiling for women's representation and prevent women from successfully contesting other seats (CS/PIF 2005; Kelly 2010). This In Brief draws on fieldwork conducted in September 2013. I conducted qualitative interviews in Buka, Arawa and Port Moresby, including with the three current women members of the House of Representatives (MHRs), two of the three previous women MHRs, unsuccessful women candidates, the women representatives on the Bougainville Constitutional Commission, and representatives from church and women's groups.

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