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Top U.S. official plans 4-hour stopover on way to Asia

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 29, 2010) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Papua New Guinea will highlight the importance of empowering women.

[PIR editor’s note: While Clinton’s trip is largely focused on meetings with top officials in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, Pacific stops including PNG and American Samoa are also planned.]

The US State Department says Clinton is due to arrive in Port Moresby on Wednesday.

Of particular interest to Clinton is the UN-supported proposal to reserve 22 seats for women, designed to give every province a female representative in parliament.

Ms Clinton’s jam-packed four hours in PNG will see her meeting official dignitaries and then women from the army, police, jails as well as business and professional women, survivors of sexual violence and women with disabilities.

PNG suffers the region’s worst levels of domestic violence, rape and maternal health, while women are also marginalised from education, decision-making and business opportunities.

Ms Clinton, also a champion of tackling climate change, is expected to oversee a mangrove planting project on the outskirts of Port Moresby.

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