The UN joins the Government and the people of Papua New Guinea to celebrate International Women’s Day

In a country where there is wide disparity in the socio-economic status of women, we need to be guided by the SDGs – leave no one behind – this means that interventions must be inclusive of all women. (Photo credit:WHO)

Port Moresby, 8 March 2017       

In celebrating International Women’s Day, the United Nations in Papua New Guinea calls on the country to once again reflect on progress, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of this country.

Since 1975 International Women’s Day has been celebrated around the world on the 8th of March. This year'stheme is Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50:50 by 2030.

The United Nations advocates to all nations to accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals, by building momentum and putting into action Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; and Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.

“Despite some improvements, leadership positions across the board are still held by men, and the economic gender gap is widening, thanks to outdated attitudes and entrenched male chauvinism. We must change this, by empowering women at all levels, enabling their voices to be heard and giving them control over their own lives and over the future of our world," stated the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres on the global situation.

"Denying the rights of women and girls is not only wrong in itself; it has a serious social and economic impact that holds us all back. Gender equality has a transformative effect that is essential to fully functioning communities, societies and economies,” the UN Secretary-General said.

The Government of Papua New Guinea has made significant progress in the last few years through its commitments and actions to advance gender equality and women’s rights.

“The Government with support from the United Nations has developed a National Strategy to respond and prevent Gender-based Violence, which affects many women across PNG, and is continuing this vital work to implement this strategy,” said Mr. Koffi Kouame, the UN Resident Coordinator, a.i. and the UNFPA Representative in PNG.

“It is vital for PNG to accelerate efforts to achieve gender equality and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. PNG is ranked 158th out of 188 countries in the global Gender Equality Index, with only 2.7 per cent of women represented in the National Parliament. The UN will continue in its efforts to reach women, in particular the marginalized and the socio-economically disadvantaged, and encourage motivation and determination to strive for a better life and improved well-being for themselves and their families,” Mr. Kouame said.  

To mark the International Women’s Day this year, UN Women will hold a graduation ceremony for Human Rights Defenders who have been trained to support Gender Based Violence survivors in the community to seek, access justice and prosecute perpetrators of violence. The initiative is in collaboration with National Capital District Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee Secretariat. In attendance, will be NCD Governor, Secretary for the Dept. of Justice and Attorney General; Secretary for the Department for Community Development and the Metropolitan Superintendent of NCD Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, amongst others.

The United Nation's Development Programme (UNDP) is hosting a high-level event with a panel of female candidates from across Papua New Guinea who are running for this year’s election and will speak about the challenges they face. The participants are part of a National Practice Parliament for women programme from 7-11 March and are being trained in critical national policy issues, parliamentary processes and campaign strategies. The highlight is a Practice Parliament session to be conducted for the first time in the National Parliament with support of the Deputy Speaker and Acting Clerk.

For further information, please contact:

Chika Kondoh, Communications Specialist at the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office (UNRCO) chika.kondoh@one.un.org | (675) 321 2877