Coffee production is the backbone of the rural economy in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Women do much of the coffee production labour, yet they have little access to the income earned.
Through the Coffee Industry Support Project, CARE Australia is partnering with coffee companies to promote women’s engagement in the industry and has established the first coffee graduate program that brings more women into the sector. CARE Australia also trains women in agricultural and business skills so they are empowered to increase their income potential.
The Coffee Industry Support Project is supported by the Australian Government in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea through the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) program.Through the Family Business Management Training, farming families learn about the benefits of sharing the household income and decision-making more equally among the family members.
The project is changing the way women are viewed by men, helping them take leadership roles in their communities, and share control of their families’ finances.
Alice and her husband Mike are coffee farmers who have transformed their lives by implementing what they learnt from CARE Australia. After Alice took a more active role in their business and shared responsibility for their finances, they saved enough money to build a house.
“After the training, we understood gender equality,” Alice explained. “Whenever I am off doing market work, my husband stays and looks after the children and takes care of house chores … it wasn’t like this before.
“We share money and financial decisions now. He has changed a lot. Whenever I am at the market he makes sure he is there for me. And whenever he needs help I am there for him. I love my husband more and more now. And I know he loves me more now, and we have many more romantic times now.”
One of many examples of positive change for women and their families happening in Papua New Guinea. To read more about CARE’s works download their 2018-19 Annual Report.