IT IS up to political parties to boost the number of women in parliament, says Dame Carol Kidu, a former Papua New Guinean opposition leader and minister.
Dame Carol said PNG could not be called a representative democracy while half of its population only had a 2.7% stake in parliament.
In 2011, PNG passed a bill sponsored by Dame Carol to establish 22 reserved seats for women but enabling legislation was not passed in time for the 2012 election.
Dame Carol entered politics in 1997 and was the only female member of parliament from 2002 until her retirement in 2012, when three women MPs were elected.
"It is going to come back to political parties now,” she said. “It is not going to happen by legal reform anymore.”
Dame Carol said this was because an increase in the number of seats would also increase the district service funds that are distributed through MPs.
The increase in funds required for 10 extra members would be large and “never get through" parliament, she said.