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Western province poised to give free seats to women

THE Western Provincial Government is poised to outdo the National Government in giving women free Provincial Assembly seats in the Province.

Premier Wayne Maepio told Island Sun over the weekend his government has decided on three non-elected seats to be given to women in a move designed to give women equal representations in the Western Provincial Assembly.

Instructions have been given for the drafting of the necessary ordinance, which would ensure the appointment, although at this stage details are rather sketchy.

“What we have decided is to appoint three women, each representing the three regions including the Shortlands,” Mr Maepio said.

“These women will have equal powers in the same way elected provincial assembly members do. The only difference is that they would be appointed rather than elected.”

The Premier said in his assessment there’s no way many women would come through to Parliament or the Provincial Assembly through the normal electoral process.

“We just need to find a way for them to come through. In Western Province my government has decided on appointing women representatives rather than through election,” he said.

Meanwhile Western Province has also made a major breakthrough, announcing plans to ban the use of plastic bags in the Province.

Mr Maepio said he is concerned about plastic bags, and the impact they’re having on the local environment.

A stakeholder committee has been meeting in recent days. It is made up of relevant government representatives, as well as NGOs including the World Wildlife Fund.

WWF’s Minnie Rafe is on the committee and reportedly said action is urgently needed, as pollution caused by plastic bags is a big problem for Western Province.