by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
In celebrating the International Women’s Day 2017 in Papua New Guinea, the Pacific International Hospital in association with the Royal Papua Yacht Club hosted the first edition of Women of the World, PNG Chapter (WOW – PNG Chapter), a panel discussion on healthy lifestyle of working women.
With the world celebrating the International Women’s day, the initiative brought together working women, staff from the Pacific International Hospital and others to witness the panel discussion.
Five female panelists were there to give talks on healthy womanhood, work-life balance, medical issues, preventive health and achievers to empower other women in Papua New Guinea.
They are Dr Lutty Amos; Ambassador Catherine Ebert-Gray of the United States to Papua New Guinea; Carolyn Blacklock; Dr Joyce Sauk; and Lynda Babao O’Neill.
Each female panelist presented discussions on women’s health and why it is important for a women to be healthy.
In summary, some of the issues mentioned during the discussion include;
- Access to basic health services
- Cultural norms and practices
- Data Availability
- Financial Assistance
With financial assistance, Carolyn Blacklock, the Specialist Advisor, Department of Treasury, General Manager, Project, IPBC, said funding is a major setback in Papua New Guinea that affects developments from taking place. Having rich experience with financing projects, Blacklock said sustainable financing is very important as it will deliver long term benefits to the people of Papua New Guinea in particular women, having access to health services to keep healthy.
In her presentation, Blacklock also spoke about gender equity urging females on the importance of taking this journey together with their male partners if they are engaged with one.
Following Blacklock was Dr Joyce Sauk, the Coordinator of District Health Services at NCD Health Services.
Dr Sauk did her presentation on health issues and statistics in Papua New Guinea. And one of the challenges she highlighted is data.
Data is a huge challenge in Papua New Guinea. When highlighting health issues in the country, she said due to lacking data, health deliver services plus the exact figure on the health issues remains unknown. And that is why some of the health issues are not addressed accordingly as well as the services.
The last speaker Lynda Babao O’Neill spoke about a working woman, juggling her work life with other responsibilities. Mrs O’Neill said womanhood is a very challenging role and requires a lot of courage and commitment.
She urged women to be strong and do whatever it takes to be happy. As a working female and the wife of the country’s prime minister, she said it is very challenging for her, however dedication and commitment is everything.
Mrs O’Neill urged all females especially those who are married, to have good communication with their partners as this is one way they can help build trust and understanding, and support each others career.
The event was hosted at the Royal Papua Yacht Club.