In this lecture, The Hon Julie Soso-Akele discusses the elimination of violence against women in the Eastern Highlands of Papaua New Guinea, one of her top priorites as Governor of the Eastern Highlands Province.
Soso-Akeke is one of just three current women members of the 111-seat Parliament of Papua New Guinea. Only seven women have been elected to Papua New Guinea’s Parliament since independence in 1975. Soso-Akeke is the first woman from the Highlands region to win a seat in Parliament.
In the 2012 general election in Papua New Guinea, Soso-Akeke was elected Governor of the Eastern Highlands Province. As Governor, she is responsible for one of the most populous provinces in the country, with a population of over 580,000 people. As part of this role she also holds a governor’s seat in the Papua New Guinea Parliament.
She is also a member of the Triumph Heritage Empowerment (THE) Party, along with Delilah Gore, the member for Sohe Open. A third woman, Loujaya Toni of the People’s Indigenous Party, won the Lae Open seat and is the current Minister for Religion, Youth, and Community Affairs.
Before entering Parliament, Governor Soso-Akeke was the President of the Eastern Highlands Province Council of Women. She had been a candidate for Governor three previous times, unsuccessfully contesting the 1997, 2002 and 2007 elections.
This podcast forms part of the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program seminar series.