Tuesday 05 Jul 2022 | 10:59 | SYDNEY
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Aus-PNG Network: Women in politics in PNG - Tania Bale

This is a special  Women in Politics series for the  Australia–PNG Network in which the Lowy Institute's Jessica Collins sits down with prominent women from Papua New Guinea (PNG) to discuss the deep-seated challenge of women’s political representation in PNG.

In this fourth episode of the series, Jessica speaks with Tania Bale, an urban candidate seeking election to PNG’s National Parliament. Tania shares her views on the challenges of standing for election, including the difficulties of campaigning in rural settings and how “obscene” amounts of money is spent in cash handouts to gain voters’ support.

Tania is one of the few women endorsed by a political party and says her endorsement for a national capital district (NCD) seat, along with three other female party colleagues endorsed for the remaining NCD seats, is unprecedented and historic.

Tania’s view is that the endorsements will resonate for years to come and that they send a powerful message to the citizenry of PNG. Yet regardless of endorsements, Tania believes her electorate is ready to elect women to the currently all-male parliament — a silver lining for women who are trying to represent their communities.

Join Jessica and Tania as they talk through the challenges of getting elected, including Australia’s role in supporting “home grown” programs that reflect PNG’s unique characteristics.

Jessica Collins is a Research Fellow in the Pacific Islands Program and Aus–PNG Network at the Lowy Institute. Prior to joining the Institute, Jessica completed a PhD in Anthropology at the Queensland University of Technology. Jessica also holds a Master of Global Development from Griffith University. Her Honours research project, completed at the Queensland University of Technology, explored diasporic life for Samoans living in Brisbane, and her undergraduate studies at the University of Sydney focused on the anthropology of the Pacific.

Tania Bale is a prominent television presenter, journalist and a fervent advocate for social justice, equity, equality and the empowerment of women and youth in Papua New Guinea. She is a vocal champion for the arts, music, culture and the environment. She is also an urban candidate in the upcoming PNG national election.

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