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TRIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF THE NEW ZEALAND FEDERATION OF GRADUATE WOMEN: TAKING EFFECTIVE ACTION: SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER 2009 PGW NET PARTNERSHIPS – NZFGW IN.

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Presentation on theme: "TRIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF THE NEW ZEALAND FEDERATION OF GRADUATE WOMEN: TAKING EFFECTIVE ACTION: SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER 2009 PGW NET PARTNERSHIPS – NZFGW IN."— Presentation transcript:

1 TRIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF THE NEW ZEALAND FEDERATION OF GRADUATE WOMEN: TAKING EFFECTIVE ACTION: SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER 2009 PGW NET PARTNERSHIPS – NZFGW IN THE PACIFIC WOMEN’S STATUS IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA AND SOLOMON ISLANDS ANDRINA KL THOMAS SOCIAL ENTERPRISE PHD STUDENT UNIVERSITY OF WAIKATO

2 Presentation Outline Women in Melanesian Parliaments, 2008 Status of Women in Top Ranking Positions in Civil Service as of November 2008 Women’s status in Papua New Guinea Conclusion Women’s status in Solomon Islands Conclusion

3 2008 Women in Melanesian Parliaments The Impact of Electoral Systems on Women’s Representation in Pacific Parliaments by: Jon Fraenkel, Australian National University CountryLegislator Size Female MPsRep % Vanuatu Papua New Guinea Solomon Islands

4 Table 2: Share of Women in Top Ranking Positions in the Civil Service as of November 2008 Jon Fraenkel, Australian National University Nov 2008 Women in Civil Service Top Ranking Positions Positions CountryTop-ranked position in civil service Total top- ranked positions in civil service Rep % Vanuatu Papua New Guinea Solomon Islands

5 PNG Women in National Parliament Year Female candidatesMale candidates Results (F) Results (M) ,114 0 to , , , , , % ? ? ? ?

6 Women’s Status in Papua New Guinea Dame Lady Carol Kidu, DBE, and Member of Parliament: A Secondary school teacher for 20 years A part-time text book writer A politician for 13 years from Entered politics in 1997 as candidate for Papua New Guinea parliamentary elections and elected for Port Moresby South constituency She was re-elected in 2002 and 2007 First female cabinet minister in PNG as Minister for Community Development and Sports Minister Islands Business named her: 2007 Person of the Year for her work towards poverty alleviation; against domestic violence and child abuse; against HIV and AIDS; and in favour of women’s empowerment

7 Women’s Status in Papua New Guinea “Politics is not an easy road” Female candidate after 2002 election – perhaps the worst election in PNG’s history Dame Kidu established the following programmes/projects: CODE Centre in Village BPW Scholarship Scheme for girls Ginigoada Business Development Foundation Moresby South Pre-School Association

8 Numbers of PNG Women in Parliament Since 1972, there has been a maximum of 2.2% women in any one term of Parliament Currently less than 1% Women candidates never greater than 5% of all candidates BUT women are 50% of the population so we are NOT a representative democracy

9 Figures on women in elections – the women are invisible

10 Women in other political levels Autonomous Bougainville Government – 3 Reserved seats for women (men & women vote) Motu-Koitabu Assembly – 2 Reserved seats for women (women vote) Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Governments includes provision for nominated women at provincial and local level but poorly implemented An increasing number of women (but not enough) are winning at local level elections

11 The Legislative Framework for Women in Politics An Enabling National Constitution Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Government Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Laws on Electoral Process Lack of Affirmative Action in existing legislation – need for legislative reform to bring change

12 What has been happening since the Constitution was enacted in 1975? PNG’s systems of family and community relationships in many of our cultures exclude women from leadership and decision making roles in the public sphere Cultural, systemic and financial obstacles prevent women from participation in the National Parliament

13 Conclusion Systemic bias against women Women do not have equality of opportunity to stand for election equal participation in Parliament broad representation in Parliament Women have a right to make decisions on matters that affect their lives THE KEY IS EDUCATION There is a need for a paradigm shift in attitudes at all levels so that our people gain a better understanding of the true role of a politician and the importance of women in leadership

14 Women’s Status in Solomon Islands One woman parliamentarian elected a few years back: Hilda Kari elected for 2 consecutive period representing Guadalcanal up to 2003 From 2003 there is currently no women parliamentarians Systemic bias against women Women do not have equality of opportunity to stand for election equal participation in Parliament broad representation in Parliament National Goals & Directive Principles not achieved

15 Women’s Status in Solomon Islands Violence against women major barrier and common practice in Solomon Islands Many forms of sexual violence occur: child sexual abuse by family members; commercial sexual exploitation of girls; sexual violence during armed conflict; and gang rape of girls often by young men Violence exacerbated by pervasive poverty and low status of women with respect to men Women’s participation in public leadership positions is almost non-existent National Women’s Council movement has weakened in recent years

16 Women’s Status in Solomon Islands 580,000 as Solomon Islands’ population in 1999 and women make up half of the population 67% of Adult women are literate 79% of girls are accessing primary education 24% are accessing secondary education from Forms 4-7 while 43.4% of urban girls are being educated 5% accessing tertiary education Priority must be given to educate more females 84% of Adult men are literate Stop gender stereotyping for female domestic roles 5 Women are permanent secretaries and 3 females are secondary school principals compared to 100 males

17 Women’s Status in Solomon Islands National goals and directive principles for gender equity and empowerment contained in state’s strategic plan More qualified women are accessing top-ranking jobs in the civil service but not in legislature WOMEN DON’T WANT OTHER WOMEN TO SUCCEED IN SOLOMON ISLANDS AND LEADERSHIP IS A MAN’S DOMAIN HOW DO WE RECTIFY THIS PROBLEM? Accession to CEDAW convention and state playing active role in appointing more women into decision-making roles State instituting Affirmative Action Plans

18 Conclusion Needs a paradigm shift in cultural attitudes in the community level as well as widespread education to change predominant patriarchal mindsets: Contemporary cultures in the Pacific and Solomon Islands still tends to be conservative and patriarchal, reflecting a colonial and missionary heritage as well as a reluctance to change a status quo which favours men politically, socially, economically and administratively. In some Pacific societies, women are worse off in some ways now than they were traditionally because protective customs and traditional protocols of women’s power and influence have either disappeared or are being abused.

19 Women’s access to education is limited leading to lesser leadership opportunities and chances to improve opportunities for other women Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development employs more men that women Women hold very few senior positions at the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development IN 2004 Solomon Islands Parliament has no female members Therefore, low levels of representation mean: WOMEN’S ISSUES NOT HEARD NOR ADDRESSED!! Conclusion

20 Projects to support Women in Melanesia Assistance TypeGroup/OrganisationRecipientsCountries Funding to set up a mentorship and role modeling programme to groom women to become future leaders and better employees National Council of Women & Department of Women’s Affairs & Department of Labour All interested female leaders and female employees Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Funding for resource person and information centre for women seeking tertiary education and career path goals as well as information for women to prevent STDs, unwanted pregnancies, HIV/AIDS awareness National Council of Women; Department of Women’s Affairs; Labour Department & Training & Scholarships Office; Wan Smol Bag Theatre All interested female students or women intending to improve their career paths and any other females Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Funding to set up a Small Business Resources Centre for Women in Business to provide business training (numeracy & literacy and hygienic businesses practices to female entrepreneurs) Chamber of Commerce; Municipal Councils; NCW & Dept of Women’s Affairs; Microfinance Donor & Ministry of Trade & Investment All interested female business entrepreneurs Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Grants for Self-Employment and Enterprise Development Programme through the local Microfinance Donors National Council of Women; Department of Women’s Affairs; Microfinance Donors; & Ministry of Trade & Investment All interested female business entrepreneurs Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

21 Assistance TypeGroup/OrganisationRecipientsCountries Small grants for rural women to improve their living standards through potable water improvement – piping water from river to tanks or building rainwater tanks & hygienic toilets or solar power equipment Rural Water Supply; National Council of Women & Dept of Women’s Affairs; Microfinance Donor & Ministry of Trade & Investment All rural females intending to improve their living standards Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Grants to Vanuatu Seasonal Workers Association Trust & Unitec for seasonal workers in NZ to learn to make NZ dishes such as pikelets/scones to sell in the market and kava bars Seasonal Workers Association Trust & Unitec to provide NZ simple cooking lessons and low-cost housing using used tyres and plastic bottles All interested females who needing NZ simple cooking lessons to set up small businesses on their return to their respective countries Vanuatu and possibly Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands when they start their RSE schemes. Grants to institutions dealing with women’s domestic violence to provide safe houses, legal aid to victims, brochures and videos to generate domestic abuse awareness and its prevention Domestic Abuse Counseling Centres and Wan Smol Bag Theatres or local theatrical groups All rural females intending to improve their living standards Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Scholarships to female students wishing to pursue business management, management and leadership skills enhancement training and doctoral studies Female students capable of succeeding in overseas tertiary institutions All females eligible for tertiary training Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Projects to support Women in Melanesia

22 Assistance TypeGroup/OrganisationRecipientsCountries Small business grants to rural women to create vegetable gardens, fishing equipment, nursery and flower equipment to undertake self-employment and enterprise development programmes Microfinance Donor; Ministry of Trade & Investment; National Council of Women & Department of Women’s Affairs All interested rural females needing finance to set up businesses in their respective countries Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Women’s groups at project development sites, e.g. mining sites, logging, factories etc. These programme will teach women to cook hygienic food and sell these and improve their living standards To form women’s clubs at these sites as workers’ wives need projects to earn income and support their families All rural females intending to improve their living standards and obtain education/awareness of the implications of purposeful work Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Awareness to mothers and young girls’ living in settlements on various illnesses, unhealthy habits and social problems and how to prevent attracting these illnesses To form Women’s ClubsAll interested females needing education to improve their health, basic hygiene, residential hygiene and their livelihoods Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Projects to support Women in Melanesia

23 Assistance TypeGroup/OrganisationRecipientsCountries Rural mothers and young girls’ educational awareness. General programmes to equip mothers and new mothers for income- generating activities To form women's fellowships from church programmes All interested rural females needing education to improve their living standards Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Rural women cooking and nutrition, sewing, handicrafts, home management, caring and nurturing of children; prevented unwanted pregnancies & STDs through educational awareness Village projects to earn income for rural women All interested rural females needing education to improve their small businesses and their living standards Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Rural women gardening, fishing, prevention of diseases project through educational awareness to improve gardening skills and receive higher yields; empower women to go fishing and improve their family’s nutrition and earn income to support themselves Village projectsAll interested rural females needing education to improve their small businesses and their living standards Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.


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