Govt dept takes lead: ‘Star Meri’ program launched for gender equality

By Bridgette Komatep – EM TV, Port Moresby

Government departments’ want to increase women participation in the public sector and decision making areas; and in realising this, the Department of Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs has come up with an initiative to implement the government’s policy.

The launch of the Star Meri Program is in line with the Public Service Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Policy 2012.

The Star Meri Program has been dubbed, by the organisers, as the vehicle that will be used to promote gender equality and subsequently involve more women in the public sector and in decision-making.

Program Manager, Delilah Koja said STAR means Successful, Transitional, Achiever and Responsive; describing the qualities of a good female leader or manager.

The goal of this program is to support DPLGA to be part of the growing number of agencies and provinces that partner in implementing and mainstreaming the GESI policy in their workplace.

Some proposed activities include programs that target current and potential women managers in the department.

The Star Meri Program was endorsed by the management in 2014 in an attempt to see a 15 per cent increase in women serving in the public service, and a 30 per cent increase of participation by women in decision making by 2017.

The program also aims at reducing domestic violence, including workplace harassment.

Department Secretary, Munare Uyassi launched the Star Meri Program and staff will observe the 20 days of Human Rights Activism.

This includes the White Ribbon Day on November 25, Human Rights Parade on November 29 and World AIDS Day on December first with the goal of putting an end to all forms of violence and discrimination and promote human rights.

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