With the returning of the Writs being deferred to next week and almost all except 6 of the 109 seats yet to be declared, many of the people are in celebration mode of their candidates either retaining thier seats or wining their respective electorates seat. The saddest results of all is that Papua New Guinea may have yet again only one women in the Parliament in the form of Dame Carol Kidu.
In a society where men turms to be the decision makers and women plays a very important and unnoticed background role in the community, women have always wanted their voice and pleas to equality to be heard. Times are changing fast and womens’ role in the society are also important as to a man. Women wants to be counted as equal to a man and effect their rights as stipulated in the UN conventions.
Nearly 100 women stood for election and it may be only one that returns to fight for them. Dame Carol Kidu, member for Moresby South electorate and Minister for Welfare and Social Development retains her seat after a very close contest with the Happy Gardener Justin T’kachenko who is now not so happy anymore. Dame Carol Kidu’s win is the result of her hard work in setting policy framework that targets women, youths and most especially children in Papua New Guinea. Her election victory is their victory. “now it time for implementation. Five years of policy making is over, now we will implement the policies” – Dame Carol Kidu
So what is the X-factor that is making women not getting voted into the Parliament? My assessment of women not getting elected is because most women still do not know how to win votes. Their campaigning styles and techinques is all wrong. Here is an example of wrong campagn speeches; ‘votim mi, mi gutpela mama na mi gat 6pela pikinini. Mi lukautim gud ol pikinini blo mi, sopos yu votim mi, mi bai lukautim yu tu olsem mi lukautim pikinini blo mi’
And there are more campaign speeches thats centers around themselves and how good their motherhood is. That’s all wrong, you’ll never win an election with these. If women are to win elections…they need to start looking at the bigger picture and campaign on policy issues and how it will help thier electorate.
Got this on the web today
Rebel love transforms schoolgirl into Dame
Monday Aug 27 12:46 AEST
The Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire is taking a nap on the wooden floor of a house on stilts over the Coral Sea, oblivious to the election-day buzz around her. It’s a brief rest-stop on an odyssey that has taken Dame Carol Kidu from a childhood as an “ordinary Aussie girl” to a life where she is as comfortable dining with royalty as eating from a Papua New Guinea cooking pot.
The petite 58-year-old opens an eye at the sound of her name, grimaces at the sight of a camera, but graciously gets to her feet and applies a quick dash of lipstick in a small mirror hanging on the bare wooden wall. The original family home in Pari village on the beach south of the capital Port Moresby is doubling as campaign headquarters for Kidu’s re-election fight for her seat as the only female member of Papua New Guinea’s parliament. “People thought I was crazy — the diplomatic circles thought I was absolutely mad — to think that a white woman could win in politics here, but I knew I could,” she says, settling into a chair on a cool verandah.
Coconut palms sway in the breeze, smoke drifts from a cooking fire producing meals for her campaign staff, children laugh as they play football on the beach — and a fierce light shines suddenly in Kidu’s eyes.“From the day my husband died, I had this obsession that I was going to stand for politics. I was a very angry woman because his death was attributed to the way he had been treated politically.”Kidu’s love for her husband was the controversial starting point for her remarkable journey.
Carol Millwater was a 16-year-old teenager when she met and fell in love with Buri Kidu, descendant of Papua New Guinean warriors, at a holiday camp on Australia’s Gold Coast near her suburban home in Brisbane. Kidu was attending the nearby Toowoomba Grammar School on a colonial scholarship from PNG, a tropical outpost off Australia’s northeast coast where some tribes had their first contact with the outside world in the 1930s.
Romance blossomed, recalls the small woman with windblown fair hair above a floral blouse, black slacks and bare feet.The courtship led to marriage in 1969, when she was just 20, and a move to the timber home in the fishing village on the edge of a mysterious and rugged land of rainforests and mist-shrouded mountains. “I’m sure my mum and dad worried enormously, but they couldn’t contradict our upbringing that everyone was equal,” says Kidu, the daughter of a clerical worker.“And my late husband was a unique person. He was a man before his time here, he was a man who could walk in both worlds very well,” she adds.
The small tribal tattoos on her pale wrists suggest she can do the same. The young wife became a schoolteacher and her husband a lawyer, but life centred on the village.“Our whole life was traditional activities. At the weekends we would be out in traditional canoes to collect firewood, out collecting sea urchins.” Their marriage created difficulties with both the expatriate community and traditional society.“Mixed marriages were very rare, especially where the woman was from outside — it was usually expat men marrying local women who then lived an expat life. “His family was apprehensive I could take him away, but he made it very clear he wasn’t going to move into the lifestyle of an expatriate. “The expats had nothing to do with me — there was little interchange between the lifestyles. It wasn’t easy. I did a lot of crying, but Buri’s mother was a very special woman, very supportive.
“In the early days, Kidu earned more than twice as much teaching as her husband did as a lawyer because she was Australian and he was “on native wages.”Even so, in village life “roles were very clearly defined, women do the drudgery and the work — not that they’re necessarily unhappy with their lot. “On top of teaching, I’d come home and scrub pans.
On weekends we’d go to the gardens, go shellfishing, all those traditional women’s activities.“When I was first here men would perform magic before planting the yams — it was still very traditional, no water, no power, we used hurricane lamps. “I did what I could do, I carried the bundles of firewood, but I didn’t chop it.“I think the expatriates undoubtedly thought I was a bit strange. They probably thought I was downtrodden and submissive.” Kidu says she and her husband lived as equals in their personal life, but played the appropriate gender roles in the village.
“When I pushed the issue of marriage he actually said: ‘Never ask me to choose between you and my people because I tell you now I’ll choose my people’.“I came here on that condition. It’s been very enriching — I don’t regret it at all.”In fact, says Kidu, she feels she has lived a privileged life.
The expat/native tables were turned in 1975 when Papua New Guinea became independent, and Buri Kidu rose rapidly through the legal ranks, being appointed chief justice in 1980.He was later knighted by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who remained PNG’s head of state, transforming suburban Brisbane’s Carol Millwater into Lady Carol.In 2005, long after her husband’s death, her tireless campaigns on behalf of the poor, the dispossed and the downtrodden led to Lady Carol becoming a Dame Commander in her own right for services to Papua New Guinea.
What do people call her now? “A lot still call me Lady, others call me Dame, but I’ve got two honorary doctorates so I’m Doctor Dame,” she says with a smile. “These things don’t really mean much to me.”Kidu has met Queen Elizabeth “several times,” she says, and tells a story of one rich royal meal that left her husband hungry for plain village fare.
“One night we left the kids here to be looked after and we went to dine on the (royal yacht) Brittania.“As soon as we got out Buri said, ‘Come let’s go home’ — he wanted some rice and corned beef. He was starving because, you know, these tiny little portions… We came home and I put the rice on
.”They had four children and adopted two others. All have gone on to careers in law or the arts. They have kept the family home in the fishing village, but Kidu now lives mainly in a house she helped design on nearby tribal land.
Buri Kidu served as chief justice for 13 years, earning a reputation for judicial independence from the government. In 1993 the government, in Dame Kidu’s words, “dumped him from the judiciary.”Six months later, the widely-respected judge died of a heart attack at the age of 48. Supporters believe the stress caused by the perceived injustice of the government’s treatment of him contributed to his early death.“After he was not reappointed to the judiciary there was a lot of pressure on him from people to stand for politics. “At one time I said ‘you’re not going to escape it, people will force you into it’, and I remember he turned to me and said ‘Well, why don’t you bloody well do it?'”
After his death, she did, defying the odds and winning the Moresby South seat in the 1997 elections to become the first white woman ever to sit in parliament.“I was very passionate and determined,” she says. Kidu was re-elected in 2002 and served as the Minister for Community Development until fresh elections in July.
Two weeks after her election-day interview with AFP it was announced that she had retained her seat.Asked whether she is taken seriously in the otherwise all-male parliament, the glint returns to her eye. “Yes, when I decide I’m right and someone else is wrong I don’t back down. Yes, I’m taken seriously, very seriously.” Kidu says she was driven into politics by “issues of social justice, human rights, marginalised groups, things of that nature,” but will not stand again in 2012.
“The electorate is very, very demanding, the urban poverty is very difficult. People don’t have anywhere to turn, so you’re constantly trying to deal with destitution.”As darkness creeps over the fishing village the yells of the ragged children on the beach grow louder, mangy dogs slink among the rubbish under the raised houses, pigs snort in their slatted cages over the water. “This is part of life,” says Kidu, gesturing vaguely around. “I’m just part of it, part of the furniture. “It’s hard. Everyone’s got a lot of needs. Often I think, ‘Oh boy, I’ve had enough of this’.
But then…”Kidu leaves the sentence hanging in the balmy evening air as she gets to her bare feet and makes her way back into the house to speak to her supporters, sitting on the floor, where she had earlier been woken from her nap.