Conference to further promote women in politics

Dec 11, 2017

Deputy Speaker for the Bougainville House of Representatives Francesca Semoso. ©Nick Turner/UNDP

Buka, 11 December 2017 The Autonomous Region of Bougainville is positioning itself as a progressive government, thanks in part to the continued push for female inclusion within policy, decision making and peacebuilding processes.

Thanks to support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Deputy Speaker for the Bougainville House of Representatives Francesca Semoso (pictured) will travel to Brisbane, Australia to attend a two-day workshop (12-13 December) to discuss how males can be advocates to further promote women’s representation in politics.

Joining Ms Semoso will be Robert Hamal Sawa, Minister for Personnel Management and Administrative Services, a strident supporter of gender equality in Bougainvillean politics.

The two-day workshop will see current and former male parliamentarians, known to be supporters of gender equality, review and provide substantive feedback on a regional draft strategy for engaging and sustaining high-level male members of parliament as national and regional advocates for women’s participation and representation in political life.

Mr Lawrence Bassie, Programme Coordinator for UNDP’s Peace Building Fund, said that the Autonomous Region of Bougainville is a leader for women’s participation in politics.

“The Autonomous Bougainville Government has three reserved seats in the Bougainville House of Representatives and the recently established Parliamentary Committee on Gender, Peace and Security,” Mr Bassie said.

“Highlighting the importance of women’s representation is working as we have Josephine Getsi, who won an open, unreserved seat at the most recent election in 2015,” he added. 

Women play a significant role in Bougainville's journey to determine its political future, and it is critically important that support continues to be provided to not only women, but males who are advocates for women’s participation in the political decision-making process. 

Contact information

Nick Turner, UNDP Communications and Innovation Specialist +675 7003 9252,

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