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2017 PNG Women’s Forum for the Highlands Region Begins

The 2017 PNG Women’s Forum, Highlands Region, officially began on Tuesday, hosted at the University of Goroka.

Organisers of the Forum – U.S. Embassy in PNG, PNG Tribal Foundation, and the Department of Community Development are backed by key partners to deliver this event, an expansion of the annual PNG Women’s Forum, which has taken place in Port Moresby, for the last three years.

This year however, the first regional two-day forum takes place in the Highlands Region, with over 500 women and 100 men attending.

The welcome address was of course delivered by the Governor for Eastern Highlands Province, Julie Soso, who is 1 of the only 3 female members in Parliament; and the first woman to be elected as Governor in the Highlands. The first regional women’s forum to be held in Goroka, Governor Soso’s province, is therefore very timely and symbolic.

Describing the importance of a Forum like this, is United States Ambassador to PNG, Ambassador Catherine Ebert-Gray, who maintains a strong stance in the advancement of women in Papua New Guinea.

Managing Director for ExxonMobil PNG, Andrew Barry, also shared his personal story with the participants. ExxonMobil is one of several committed partners in the annual Women’s Forums. Female participants attending the Forum this year include those from Exxon’s project area in the Hela province, and with the pipeline running through the Southern Highlands province, the women from these areas are considered key roles, when organising this event. Speaking on behalf of ExxonMobil is Sisa Kini, the Community Development Support Manager.

The Forum also delivers key workshops on communication skills, health awareness and women in politics.

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