Working together for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Papua New Guinea

Participants from the first day of the three-day Pacific Women PNG Annual Learning Workshop. Photo credit: Pacific Women Support Unit

The fourth Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) Annual Learning Workshop opened yesterday, providing an important opportunity for engagement and discussion on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Speaking at the event, Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis reaffirmed Australia and Papua New Guinea’s shared commitment to improving the political, economic and social advancement of women in Papua New Guinea:

‘Gender equality and women’s empowerment are priorities for Australian foreign policy, because when women are able to actively participate, everyone prospers. Women who are economically secure and who are better able to seek out education and health services have expanded opportunities to take on leadership or decision making roles in their households, workplaces and communities,’ Mr Davis said.

The three-day annual learning forum is for partners of the Australian Government’s Pacific Women program.

The workshop is part of Pacific Women’s efforts to enhance knowledge and evidence, which will inform policy and practice. It is an opportunity for implementing partners and other stakeholders to meet and engage in meaningful discussions, to present their research, share their experiences and to learn from each other.

Pacific Women supports over 29 activities in targeted locations in Papua New Guinea to promote women’s leadership and economic empowerment, to strengthen the national response to violence against women and provide expanded support services.

These activities are run by local leaders, groups, organisations, international NGOs and multilateral organisations committed to promoting gender equality in Papua New Guinea.

As of 2018, the total Australian Government commitment to Pacific Women activities in PNG over the life of the program is around PGK215 million. Australia is committed to working with the Government of Papua New Guinea and Pacific Women partners to improve opportunities for women and girls in Papua New Guinea.