International Labour Organization
South-East Asia and the Pacific Multidisciplinary Advisory Team
ILO/SEAPAT's OnLine Gender Learning & Information Module

Unit 2: Gender issues in the world of work

Labour market gender issues by country

Papua New Guinea

Platform for Action: A Decade of Action for Women Towards National Unity and Sustainability, 1995-2005 (June 1995 First Edition)

Table of Contents

The Papua New Guinea Platform for Action
Overview on Status of Papua New Guinea Women
  1. Statement of Mission
  2. Global and Regional Framework
  3. Critical Areas of Concern
    1. Health
    2. Education and Training and Literacy
    3. Mechanisms to Promote the Advancement of Women and Shared Decision Making
    4. Economic Empowerment and Employment Opportunities and Conditions
    5. Legal and Human Rights, Violence, Peace and National Unity
    6. Culture and the Family
    7. Transport, Shelter and Water, and Communication
    8. Agriculture and Fisheries
    9. Environment and Development
    10. Financial Arrangements
    11. Institutional Arrangements
    12. Monitoring and Evaluation

Platform for Action:

A Decade of Action for Women Towards National Unity and Sustainability, 1995-2005

(June 1995 First Edition)

[Selected excerpts from the above-titled document of the Government of Papua New Guinea]


The past twenty years has been a period of tremendous change, accomplishment and challenge for women in Papua New Guinea. Women have made important contributions to national development, particularly in sustaining the well being of the nation's population as the backbone of the subsistence agricultural economy. The majority of the population depend on this sector for survival.

Despite social and economic constraints as a developing nation, we have achieved much during our short history. Our democratic system of government and National Constitution have provided the environment for positive advances to be undertaken to achieve the universal goal of "Equality, Development and Peace". Improvement can be seen in areas of education, training, employment and health. Access to tertiary education for women and participation of women in the labour force have improved markedly.

During the later years of the decade, the government has taken positive steps to boost efforts for women's progress. These include the endorsement of the National Women's Policy in 1991, the Five Year Management Plan for the Women's Division and most importantly the ratification of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), in 1994. CEDAW provides the basis for future legislative changes and promotes women's equal rights in Papua New Guinea.

Although much has been accomplished, key areas of concern remain particularly, the law and order situation and current structural adjustments and reforms in the economy. Women's position in society should not be disadvantaged any further. Investment in gender sensitive initiatives will be crucial in the long run in order to alleviate social costs particularly in regard to health and other social services. mainstreaming gender issues particularly in policy and planning agencies of government, non government and private sector is a step forward in the right direction. As one of the responses to this approach, the Gender and Development Unit has been established in the Department of Finance and Planning.

I am pleased to note that Papua New Guinea women today are taking up the challenge and in partnership with all agencies, both Government and Non Government, have all contributed to this important document. This spells a new era of development as partners in sustainable development and nation building. However, this must start at home within the family, the smallest, but the most basic, social unit of our society.

The Papua New Guinea Platform for Action is the yardstick for the coming decade. My government is pleased to initiate this process and confirm its support and commitment. I hereby commend this document for the attention and firm commitment of all agencies and individuals concerned with the sustenance of human life.

Right HONOURABLE Sir Julius Chan, GCMG, KBE, MP.
Prime Minster of Papua New Guinea

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The Papua New Guinea Platform for Action


The Papua New Guinea Platform for Action is a national statement emerging from Provincial Reports, NGO Reports, the Women's Division Five Year Management Plan, and the Country Report on the Platform for Action to the Commission on the Status of Women of the United Nations and various workshops and consultative forums.

The government of PNG officially recognises the needs and potential of women units endorsement of the National Women's Policy. This is in line with the national Constitution where the first and second goal address Integral Human Development and Equality and Participation.

Specifically, under Integral Human Development:

"Everyone to be involved in our endeavours to achieve integral human development of the whole person and to seek fulfilment through his or her contribution to the common good."

The second goal of Equality and Participation states:

"We declare our second goal to be for all citizens to have an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from the development of our country."

and further calls for:

"Equal participation by women citizens in all political, economic, social, and religious activities."

The Platform reaffirms the National Constitution, particularly strengthening the goals of Equality and Participation and Integral Sustainable Human Development and Peace.

The critical areas of concern are:

Although poverty was not identified as a key issue, it is acknowledged that the country foresees it becoming a critical issue should the issues concerning women not be addressed.

The Platform has been developed with active input from Non Government Organisations (NGOs). It marks the spirit of partnership between Government and NGOs in the desire to co-ordinate a nationally recognised framework of action for the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, China on 4-15 September, 1995 and for the next decade.

It also calls for strengthening of partnership between the National Government machinery and Non Government Organisations, with strong emphasis on financial and technical support. These critical issues are not exclusive to women but affect the community as a whole.

In pursuit of sustainable development and advancement of women the National Platform requires structural and adaptational changes.

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Overview of Status of Papua New Guinea Women

Papua New Guinea occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea sharing an international border with Indonesia. Solomon Islands to the South East, and Australia to the South. It has a population of over 3.8 million people and is ethnically very diverse. It has many hundreds of tribal and ethnic groupings speaking over 800 different languages. Women make up 50% of the country's population. Although traditionally women played a subordinate role to men especially in public and community decisions they were key players in maintaining the social and economic system. Women currently produce and process over 80% of the country's food much of which is done with little technical assistance.

This important role of women in sustaining family life and their overall contribution to national development has not been fully acknowledged.

Papua New Guinea gained independence in 1975 and endorsed the national development Strategy as its blue print for development. The Eight Point Plan calls for "the equal participation of women in all forms of social and economic development for the country." This goal precipitated a number of national actions for women. These include:

Despite these early initiatives, successive government policies have not been consistent enough to maintain the momentum. This has resulted in fewer achievements in the advancement of women with the consequential impact of a poorer quality of life for women in Papua New Guinea.

Current indicators reveal that the literacy status of women remains at 34% for women and 46% for men which is comparatively lower than women in other Melanesian countries of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Similarly, employment ratios of both men and women in the public and private sector remains very much in favour of men. Only few women occupy managerial positions. The majority of young women do not receive adequate training either to participate in the formal sector or to function productively in their own village.

The health status of women is also low. Papua New Guinea has one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world. The life expectancy rate of women is 47 years and most women die of preventable diseases.

Equal participation of women in decision making in public life is far from reality. Over the years only a handful of women were able to enter into the national and provincial political arena. The period of the late eighties and the nineties have seen a decline in the involvement of women actively participating in the decision making process. Considerations are being made in line with the provision in Section 102 of the National Constitution to nominate and appoint a women's representative to the National Parliament.

Although the National Constitution provides for the equal rights of all citizens, women have not been able to fully understand and exercise their rights. This has largely been due to ineffective government mechanisms advocating and promoting the rights of women.

Stringent donor conditions, and lack of NGO capacity has made it difficult to mobilise and promote the advancement of women. The endorsement by the government and the subsequent launching of the National Women's Policy marked a new era in the advancement of women. The policy set the goals and objectives to facilitate development of women in the country.

It has paved the way for the proposed establishment of the Office of the Status of Women. It is also the bass for the review of the National Council of Women Act and the overall improvement in the capacity of the Council to influence policy matters. Efforts are underway for the establishment of the Women's Information and Data Base System and the strengthening of the national women's machinery.

All these initiatives have generated a high degree of awareness among women. Women are more determined than ever to be active participants as well as beneficiaries in the development process.

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  1. Statement of Mission

The Platform for Action gives recognition to strengthening the multiple roles of women in the family and community and consolidates the partnership between Government and Non Government Organisations in order to achieve sustainable development, national unity and peace. It also recognises that the partnership between men and women is vital and uses mainstreaming of gender issues as an approach to accelerate the full participation of all persons in the development process.

The Platform for Action provides a framework which outlines ways in which women can be enabled and empowered to contribute more effectively and meaningfully to society over the next decade.

The Platform for Action requires immediate action to redress long-standing inequities. It is based on rights accorded to all citizens by the provision of adequate resources, the strengthening of the national women's machinery, and a firm commitment by government to be responsive to the needs of half of the country's population.

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  1. Global and Regional Framework

Since the adoption of the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women in 1985, the Pacific region has been experiencing a structuring of political, economic, social and cultural relationships. The restructuring process has had a dramatic impact on the Pacific region and in the quest for Equality, Development and Peace.

We are beginning to assert a "Pacific" identity. Although we share commonalities with the global community and with the Asian region with which we are most commonly grouped by the United Nations, our Pacific experiences are different. Our uniqueness if reflected in our different geographical, historical and cultural backgrounds, more specifically, in the central role of customs and tradition in our island countries and territories, the primacy of the family and the strong affinity of our people with the land. The majority of land is held in customary tenure.

Our fragile resource bases are our second point of uniqueness. Ocean, land and labour are the region's major resources with the exception of mineral rich countries such as Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. The employment patterns in most countries is comprised of three sectors: a small formal sector dominated by government jobs, small family businesses, tourism enterprises, and more recently a spread of factory-type jobs brought about by the encouragement of Free Trade Zones and incentives; and increasingly visible informal sector; and agriculture. In the latter, families are the main production units, producing goods for family use, sale and for cultural exchanges and ceremonial purposes.

The introduction of cash economy, legal systems of justice and democratic forms of government are placing serious strains on the traditional ways. Pacific nations are being forced to examine the appropriateness of customary institutions and laws in the light of changing social conditions. Further disruption may also occur as nations presently in political relationships with major powers continue their quest for self-determination and self government. The attaining of sustainable development depends heavily on the decision we make now with regard to the management of our human, physical and cultural resources.

With these decisions come inevitable changes in the relationship between women and men and especially changes in gender roles. There lies an importance of women's and men's customary status but at the same time there is a need to concentrate on the changing roles to work towards re-establishing the partnership and power sharing relationship between female and male.

It is recognised that within the Pacific region there are unique differences between Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia; and differences still within the sub-regions. But despite these differences there exists a unique bond that defines the 'Pacific' experience. It is within these commonalities that lies the strength to make this Platform for Action a reality.

At the same time Pacific countries do not exist in isolation. Pacific people cannot help but be influenced by changing economic as well as ideological global paradigms.

Table 1: Critical Issues of the National, Sub-Regional and Global Platforms for Action

National Issues

Pacific Issues

Global Issues

Health Health Poverty
Education, Training and Literacy Education Education
Mechanisms and Shared Decision Making Economic Empowerment Health
Economic Empowerment and Employment Opportunities and Conditions Agriculture and Fishing Violence Against Women
Legal and Human Rights
  • Violence
  • Peace and National Unity
Legal and Human Rights Effect of Armed and Other Conflicts
Culture and the Family
  • Young Women and Girls
  • Special Groups of Women
Shared Decision Making Economic Empowerment
Transport, Shelter and Water, and Communication Environment Shared Decision Making
Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Resources
  • Foreign Investment Affecting Women
Culture and the family Insufficient Mechanisms
Environment and Development Mechanisms to Promote the Advancement of Women Women's Human Rights
Sustainable Development and Poverty Violence Mass Media
  Peace and Justice Management and Safeguarding of Environment
  Poverty Girl Child
  Indigenous Peoples Rights  

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  1. Critical Areas of Concern

A broad range of issues have surfaced during workshops, and consultative forums of both the Government and NGOs as being the underlying causes hindering the advancement of women in Papua New Guinea over the past decade. However, Health, Education and training and Literacy, Mechanisms to Promote the Advancement of Women and Shared Decision Making, Economic Empowerment and Employment Opportunities and Conditions, Legal and Human Rights and Culture and the Family are the six priority areas of concern for Papua New Guinea women that require emergency action from both the government, NGOs, and individuals for the next decade.

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  1. Health

    Strategic Objective:

    To ensure that women's health needs, physical, mental and spiritual are met and adequately resourced.


    1. Ensure access to affordable community-based health care services, particularly those provided through mobile MCH clinics, village patrols and community based providers.

    2. Encourage gender sensitive education programmes on the health needs of the family.

    3. Improve the quality of and make available the quality of free gynaecological state services to women in rural and urban areas.

    4. Support human resource development at all levels in service delivery, particularly the training and employment of female health practitioners at community health centres and aid posts.

    5. Improve and expand public health education programmes including the translation of materials into appropriate vernacular and promote the role of women as traditional healers and the use of natural and traditional remedies.

      Support research into the health needs of women with particular focus on mental health.

    6. Reduce the high mortality rates to half of the 1990 level through improved family planning services and family life education programmes directed at both men and women.

    7. Increase government support of NGOs working in the areas of family health.

    8. Minimise the socio-economic impact of STD/AIDS among the community.

    9. Advocate and promote environmental hygiene, the provision of better sanitation, and the reduction of land, water and air pollution.

    10. Strengthen the education curriculum to increase awareness about the functions of the human body.

    11. Promote primary health care at all levels.

  2. Education and Training and Literacy

    1. Education

      Strategic Objective:

      To ensure women have equal access to formal and non formal education and training opportunities at all levels.


      1. Encourage gender balance through affirmative action and quotas for women in the allocation of educational scholarships.

      2. Promote scholarship policies that do not penalise against women who become pregnant while studying and establish support systems for women to enable them to complete their studies.

      3. Provide safe and adequate boarding facilities for female students at tertiary levels.

      4. Increase public awareness and community education on the importance of continuing education and training for girls.

      5. Encourage women in urban and rural areas to undertake distance education courses.

      6. Encourage women to undertake post graduate and higher degree programmes at national universities.

      7. Increase access to non formal education and training opportunities including vocational training for those entering the workforce.

      8. Promote policies which ensure that there are at least 50% females in all educational institutions.

      9. Develop a wholistic perspective on education placing importance on education starting from the home.

      10. Encourage women to pursue training in non-traditional areas including management.

      11. Increase government responsibility for early childhood development by resourcing and giving greater recognition to Pre-school education and Tok Ples School initiatives.

      12. Increase fellowships for short term in-country courses in the areas of management and other technical skills.

      13. Ensure equity of access by women to training opportunities in the public service.

      14. Ensure that in future development of curriculum that gender roles are not stereotyped.

    2. Literacy

      Strategic Objective:

      To introduce and strengthen existing mechanisms to promote the advancement of women at all levels and in all sectors of the community.


      1. Upgrade the Women's Division to the Office of the Status of Women, that is effectively staffed and resourced.

      2. Revitalise and strengthen an effective partnership between the intended Office of the Status of Women (OSW) and the National Council of Women (NCW) to clarify and understand their respective roles.

      3. Support training of literacy trainers and provide incentives for trainers.

      4. Facilitate co-ordination among organisations carrying out literacy training and encourage NGOs to work together.

      5. Develop radio broadcast programmes on adult literacy.

  3. Mechanisms to Promote the Advancement of Women and Shared Decision Making

    1. Mechanisms to Promote the Advancement of Women

      Strategic Objective:

      To introduce and strengthen existing mechanisms to promote the advancement of women at all levels and in all sectors of the community.


      1. Upgrade the Women's Division to the Office of the Status of Women, that is effectively staffed and resourced.

      2. Revitalise and strengthen an effective partnership between the intended Office of the Status of Women (OSW) and the National Council of Women (NCW) to clarify and understand their respective roles.

      3. Strengthen the relationship between Government and other NGOs.

      4. Revitalise the Inter Agency Women's Advisory Committee (IWAC).

      5. Support efforts to operationalise gender approach in all functional activities.

      6. Assist NCW and other NGOs in institutional strengthening and capacity building.

      7. Strengthen the Gender and Development Unit within the Department of Finance and Planning.

      8. Review and update the National Women's Policy.

      9. Apply gender analysis in developing policy and planning activities.

      10. Provide assistance to Non Government agencies and institutions conducting research and programmes on women.

      11. Strengthen the Women's focal point to provide information for effective networking.

      12. Encourage donors to resource existing programmes rather than set up their own programmes.

      13. Increase government financial support to NGOs.

      14. Build a strong partnership between Government and NGOs and for government to co-ordinate and resource while NGOs implement.

      15. Lobby for other government departments to support NGOs.

      16. Upgrade the status of the Department of Religion, Affairs and Youth, in recognition of their role in implementing government's social development programmes particularly in supporting NGOs.

    2. Shared Decision Making

      Strategic Objective:

      To promote women's active participation in decision making at all levels in the family and in the wider community to ensure that their needs and concerns are represented.


      1. Ensure that all national boards have women's representation and monitor that they regularly consult with women's organisations.

      2. Work towards increasing women's participation in parliament.

      3. Support Provincial Council of Women to ensure effective representation in government and on boards at the provincial and district levels.

      4. Ensure that gender issues are considered in setting National Budget and Planning priorities.

      5. Make available opportunities for women in senior government positions to become department and divisional heads at national and provincial levels through affirmative action.

      6. Ensure leadership training for women includes conflict resolution, being constructive and objective, lobbying, advocacy, how to conduct meetings, build up professional leadership qualities.

      7. Support political awareness campaigns that promote participation of women in the democratic process.

      8. Support the compilation of gender disaggregated data. Develop and compile a women's nomination file with biodata of women for nomination into decision making forums.

      9. Consult and brief the Prime Ministers Office and Department of Finance and Planning, and other appropriate line Departments on issues affecting women.

      10. Conduct gender awareness training targeting politicians and leaders.

      11. Promote the sharing of roles and responsibilities within the family through innovative media campaigns, school and community education programs emphasising gender equity and non-stereotyped gender roles of women and men.

      12. Recognise and support the important role of women in peace and other forms of negotiations.

  4. Economic Empowerment and Employment Opportunities and Conditions

    1. Economic Empowerment

      Strategic Objective:

      To increase the participation of women in the national economy and recognise and support women's contributions to the voluntary sector.


      1. Strengthen and expand existing credit schemes for women to include savings and loans to individuals and groups.

      2. Establish a network and an advisory service for women entrepreneurs in the country.

      3. Collect and disseminate data on women's participation in economic projects for planning and information purposes.

      4. Provide information to women on existing financial institutions and revitalise the services available for women.

      5. Legislate and where appropriate introduce policy measures to enable women to participate freely and more effectively in commerce both as employers and entrepreneurs.

      6. Research into business opportunities, cottage industries, food processing and marketing for women.

      7. Identify and link women to available business training opportunities.

      8. Protect business ventures reserved for nationals only which are registered with Investment Promotion Authority.

      9. Build a handicraft market or resource centre to help establish national and international markets for women's handicrafts. In addition, establish a National Handicraft Association to monitor trading practices and to assist and advise women.

      10. Impose controls on transport levies to assist small business operators.

      11. Seriously review the structural adjustment policies and GATT to assess its negative effect and impact on PNG women and to support measures to redress this situation.

      12. Provide situation for women to have access to more efficient labour saving devices.

      13. Undertake research into discrimination of single parents in accessing resources and financial credit.

    2. Employment Opportunities and Conditions

      Strategic Objectives:

      To review employment legislation and policies to ensure equitable terms, conditions and benefits to women workers in the private and public sectors. (Employment Policy)


      1. Develop national employment policy with emphasis on equal opportunity in employment.

      2. Ratify relevant International Labour Organisation's legislations on employment of women.

      3. Sensitise trade unions to address women's issues and encourage participation of women members in trade union activities.

      4. Research into stress related and work problems of women.

      5. Enforce laws and develop policies against sexual harassment, adultery and enticement in the work place.

      6. Assist domestic workers to from a union or association to advocate for better working conditions.

      7. Make available occupational health services including resting and nursing facilities and care centres in the work place.

      8. Ensure there are adequate legislative provisions for parental leave covering all workers in the public and private sectors.

  5. Legal and Human Rights, Violence, Peace and National Unity

    1. Legal and Human Rights

      Strategic Objective:

      To increase community awareness on the importance of women's human rights and legal rights as provided for in the Constitution and in the enforcement and implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).


      1. Prioritise issues and develop plan of action on CEDAW.

      2. Conduct research on legal and human rights issues.

      3. Support existing efforts of Non Government Organisations on human rights issues.

      4. Sensitise legislators and administrators about gender and human rights issues.

      5. strengthen existing efforts by government and NGOs to inform and educate women and the public on women's rights.

      6. Encourage counselling to include spiritual and moral values.

      7. Provide legal aid for women and establish a network for all women lawyers.

      8. Provide support and opportunities for legal literacy and paralegal training fro women.

      9. Make available support services for women including rape crisis centres, shelters for women, private facilities for interviews at police stations and court advocates to enable women to take perpetrators of violence to court.

      10. Give particular attention to the observance of children's rights.

      11. Give emphasis to teaching basic values to children.

      12. Monitor, review, and strengthen legislations against sexual abuse and prostitution.

    2. Violence

      Strategic Objective:

      To create increased awareness that violence is both a crime and a violation of women's human rights, develop appropriate public measures to eliminate violence and mechanisms to ensure that this is enforced.


      1. Promote legislation and enforcement of policies aimed at eliminating domestic violence as a national priority.

      2. Implement the recommendations of the Law Reform Commission Report No. 14 on violence against women.

      3. Liaise with police and other relevant agencies to establish an integrated data base on violence against women.

      4. Enforce legislation on child abuse including incest, rape and prostitution and provide appropriate support services and counselling.

      5. Increase the number of police officers with special training to deal with women who are subjected to violence.

      6. Undertake innovative and wide ranging community education to raise awareness about the root causes of violence against women.

      7. Provide support through NGO crisis intervention centres and through emergency financial and accommodation assistance.

      8. Support efforts of churches to educate teachers and individuals on Christian values and the value of human life to deter domestic violence.

      9. Resource Censorship Board, Ombudsman Commission, Law reform Commission, Police and Custom's Office to effectively monitor black markets, pornographic material and drug outlets.

      10. Undertake measures to discourage the presentation of excessive violence in the mass media.

    3. Peace and National Unity

      Strategic Objectives:

      To ensure women can participate in efforts to promote conditions for sustainable peace in the family and the community.


      1. Promote more representation of women in peace keeping activities and peace negotiations at all levels and encourage the exercise of traditional peace making processes.

      2. Encourage studies on the root causes of conflict and the potential role of women in peace building and conflict resolution.

      3. Support and resource the efforts of churches in peace education and rehabilitation programmes.

      4. Promote good citizenship through the education system at the community level.

      5. Ensure that school curriculum includes gender issues highlighting the changing roles of girls and boys and promoting equal responsibilities in family and community life.

      6. Recruit women into the National Defence Force.

      7. Control the manufacture, sale, and importation of arms into PNG.

  6. Culture and the Family

    1. Culture and the Family

      Strategic Objective:

      To encourage women to learn and understand their won culture and be more appreciative of their Melanesian identity and values and advocate for the elimination of practices that discriminate against women.


      1. Integrate and encourage women's participation in national and provincial cultural activities.

      2. Introduce legislation against polygamous marriages where polygamy is not practised as customary law.

      3. Adequate support is given to the wives where polygamy is practised and review customary law.

      4. Recognise and encourage traditional Melanesian ways of problem solving.

      5. Provide appropriate training for village court magistrates and officers to deal adequately with problems relating to adultery, domestic violence, polygamy and desertion.

      6. Make available relationship and marriage counselling support services.

      7. Promote Christian values and spiritual development in the affirmation of identity for Papua New Guineans.

      8. Nurture the positive aspects of culture and tradition and encourage the teaching and translation of PNG vernacular.

    2. Young Women and Girls

      Strategic Objective:

      To provide equal opportunities to young women and girls to develop their potential and participate in the community.


      1. Integrate the needs of young women in plans and programmes and encourage their active participation in youth activities.

      2. Introduce family life and adolescent education awareness at grade six level.

      3. Provide career guidance to grade six students.

      4. Increase the legal marriage age to eighteen.

      5. Discourage the negative portrayal and abuse of female images in commercial advertisements.

      6. Provide employment and training opportunities for young girls.

      7. Investigate child labour abuse practices by private firms and ensure fair remuneration for workers consistent with labour laws.

      8. Ensure that current youth labour legislation is consistent with International Labour Organisation's standards, and addresses the employment situation of PNG youth.

      9. Legislate to protect the rights and interests of children.

      10. Recognise the particular support needs of single parents.

      11. Support efforts of NGOs providing education for life to young girls and women.

    3. Special Groups of Women

      Strategic Objective:

      To recognise and support the particular needs of special groups of women.


      1. Women with Disabilities
        1. Women's organisations should integrate the needs of disabled women in their plans and programmes.

        2. Women's organisations should launch extensive education campaigns to discourage the exploitation of disabled persons by family members disguised as charity for income generating purposes.

        3. Lobby for physical access for women and men with disabilities in public places.

        4. Government to legislate for families to take responsibility for disabled persons.

        5. That legislation be passed requiring all buildings to have access for people with disabilities.

      2. Elderly Women
        1. Recognise older women's leadership contribution and capabilities.

        2. Instil and strengthen Melanesian values on the need to care for elderly women.

        3. Promote health education among women to increase understanding of themselves and the impact of menopause.

      3. Refugee and Displaced Women
        1. Integrate needs of refugee and displaced women into planning and programming in consultation with women themselves.

        2. provide rehabilitation services to refugee and displaced women through proper training to help develop their potential.

        3. Use UNHCR Guideline on the Protection of Refugee Women in conjunction with the 1951 Convention relating tot he Status of Refugee in considering refugee status for women.

  7. Transport, Shelter and Water, and Communication

    1. Transport

      Strategic Objective:

      To provide safe and affordable transportation systems in rural and urban areas.


      1. Ensure women's needs such as safety, accessibility and affordability are taken into consideration when transportation policies are formulated.

      2. Develop and maintain a good system of roads throughout the country to enable women to remain on their lands and still have access to markets and services such as health and education.

      3. Encourage women to learn non-traditional skills such as vehicle and equipment maintenance.

      4. Encourage the use of non-polluting forms of transportation such as bicycles.

      5. Develop footpaths and bicycle tracks in urban areas.

    2. Shelter and Water

      Strategic Objective:

      To ensure that all women ands their families have safe, secure, adequate and affordable shelter and water.


      1. Develop and implement government housing policy and programmes that are supportive of women, especially single mothers.

      2. Institute effective systems for land tenure which include women as beneficiaries.

      3. Ensure that women have access to information and resources for owning their own houses.

      4. Develop appropriate design, building materials, technology and construction methods that take into consideration culture, environment sustainability, permanence and life cycle costs.

      5. In the formal, informal and private sectors, ensure priority access to housing for female wage earners.

      6. Provide safe and adequate housing for women at universities and training colleges.

      7. Integrate the needs of poor urban women into urban planning, design of housing and water supply.

      8. Ensure all women and their families have adequate and safe drinking water.

      9. Develop and implement ways for women in settlements to improve their living conditions and to have security of tenure during redevelopment pressures.

      10. Facilitate and financially support partnerships with NGOs in the supply and management of housing for young, single working, and elderly women.

      11. Conduct gender disaggregated research on housing conditions, household needs and priorities.

    3. Communication

      Strategic Objective:

      To provide information and improve communications to women living and working in remote parts of the country.


      1. Research and implement innovative distance communications systems and technologies appropriate to the varying geographic conditions of PNG.

      2. Establish communication networks throughout the country among women and women's groups.

      3. Ensure that women have access to information concerning communications issues.

      4. Develop the communication training and maintenance capabilities of women.

      5. Encourage and support public radio communications at affordable costs.

  8. Agriculture and Fisheries

    Strategic Objectives:

    To promote and support women's participation in agriculture and fishing, in both paid and unpaid activities, particularly the role of women in securing food.


      1. Mainstream gender issues and continue to support and strengthen women in all areas of agriculture and fisheries planning.

      2. Improve women's access to agricultural extension services.

      3. Introduce training and demonstration programs on soil management and inter-cropping for sustainable development in agriculture.

      4. Develop and support agriculture subsistence improvement programme for women using appropriate technology. Create markets for subsistence women farmers with subsidies for transporting goods to the nearest markets.

      5. Conduct research on each family member's contribution to the household activities.

      6. Support short courses fro women to learn the various methods of fish preservation and food processing particularly fruit for canning and making jams, sweet potatoes, yams, bananas and breadfruit.

      7. Recognise and support women as the traditional agriculturists and provide training opportunities to improve technical and management skills in agriculture.

      8. Encourage agricultural practices that increase productivity and are environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable.

      9. Ensure that careful analysis and consideration of all facets of development whether environmental, economic or social have been carried out prior to implementation.

      10. Ensure that development activities are sustainable by designing and implementing activities that meet local needs and participation.

      11. Promote the concept that agriculture and fishing are not only for income generation but also fro domestic consumption.

      12. Legislate against and educate women about destructive and poisonous baits and explosives for catching fish.

  9. Environment and Development

    Strategic Objective:

    To acknowledge the critical role women play in development and effectively utilise their knowledge to recognise and address the long term environmental effects of forestry, mining, fishing and related activities.


      1. Increase women's representation in environmental management and development, particularly on forestry, mining and landowner boards.

      2. Support appropriate environmental legislation, standards and management practices.

      3. Enforce legislations to strengthen existing mechanisms in the Consumer Affairs Bureau to monitor prices and quality of foods, materials and medicines imported and produced in PNG.

      4. Introduce safe recycling and disposal of waste at all levels of production.

      5. Introduce and maintain safe water systems in rural and urban areas.

      6. Support efforts in raising awareness on environmental issues.

      7. Promote proper sanitation end environmental health particularly in reducing air and water pollution.

      8. Develop town plans and enforce town planning zones so that commercial industries do not operate in or adversely affect residential areas.

      9. Provide adequate recycling facilities to improve waste management.

  10. Financial Arrangements

    The implementation of the national platform for Action will require financial and skilled human resources from the national government, provincial governments and donor communities through their bilateral and multilateral assistance. Regional organisations that are mandated to address the social and economic development of nations in the Pacific region are urged to take an active role in supporting and complementing PNG's Action Plan.

    The National Women's Policy calls for mainstreaming development planning for women in all sectors of Government. In the absence of a National Planning Office, the Gender and Development Unit of the Department of Finance and Planning will co-ordinate and monitor sectoral responses towards the Country Platform for Action. It will also play a key role in the financing of development initiatives being proposed by the Government.

    Effective partnership relations, integration and collaboration must exist between all agencies both Government and Non Government to ensure there is no duplication and to rationalise or limited resources available in the country. To assist in this process the Inter-Agency Women's Advisory Committee will need to be reactivated to monitor the implementation of the Platform and to help mobilise available resources of agencies.

    The role of the Gender and Development Unit of Finance and Planning will be crucial in ensuring that there is effective co-ordination between the different sectors.

    At the regional level, the South Pacific Commission has been urged by its member countries to increase budgetary allocation towards work programme areas which primarily focuses on women's issues and initiatives towards achieving sustainable development.

    The Australian assistance to Papua New Guinea has identified Women in Development as one of its priorities. Attempts are being made to ensure that in all sector programmes funded by AusAID, gender issues are taken into consideration. Future Australian assistance will take into account the priority areas identified unwed this Action Plan, particularly issues relating to sustainable development which includes human rights, women's health, education and training, credit opportunities and law and order.

    Finally, at the international level, United Nations Agencies are urged to provide financial support to its agencies for financing of Gender and Development and Women in development projects at country level. All United Nations agencies at the regional level are urged to provide close monitoring of governments to ensure there are effective responses to the Global Platform for Action.

  11. Institutional Arrangements

    Implementation of the Platform for Action is the primary responsibility of government. It is dependent on the partnership with various other institutions and organisations in the government and non government sectors.

    The government should give priority to ensuring mainstreaming of gender issues across the entire spectrum of government.

    The upgrading of the Women's' Division to an Office of the Status of Women will provide a sound basis for policy advice to the government. it should take a lead role in co-ordinating, monitoring and assessing the progress of the Platform for Action. This will also require the reactivation of the Inter-Agency Women's Advisory Committee whose role will be to promote integration, co-ordination, and encourage effective communication between sectors on the progress of the Action Plan.

    The National Council of Women and other grassroots non government organisations have a complementary role to play on advocacy, programme implementation and policy advice.

    The active support and participation of a broad range of implementation partners both government and NGOs is vital.

  • Monitoring and Evaluation

    A logical framework including the output indicators will be developed to monitor and evaluate the progress of implementation of the Papua New Guinea Platform fro Action. This framework will provide the basis for project and budget submissions by Government and Non Government Organisations. Proposals or programme responses should be monitored by the Gender and development Unit in close consultation with the Office of the Status of Women once established. Quarterly progress indicators will be established and reports presented to the Inter-Agency Women's Advisory Committee.

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    This page was revised  by SF. It was approved by WRB. It was last updated on 2 November 1998.