By Samantha Semoso – EMTV Online
The notion of female empowerment should be front and centre in communities and provinces in Papua New Guinea, and one way in which this can be done is through investment in female entrepreneurship.
Many might not realise it, but women are crucial to economic growth in PNG and around the world.
Female entrepreneurs see communities and the world through a different lens and, in turn, do things differently; it may or may not be better, but differently.
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, only seven countries – Panama, Thailand, Ghana, Ecuador, Nigeria, Mexico and Uganda – see women take part in business at a similar rate to that of men; in some countries like Pakistan, they barely take part at all.
Even though there are so many active businesses with female owners, they do not reach their potential and there is still a huge equality gap. Also, some of the obstacles that women in business face are balancing work and family, to securing financing.
Access to capital, when it comes to finance, sees women face particular hurdles, from a lack of collateral to discriminatory regulations and the habit of gender bias. Even with organisations like Women in Business, founded by Janet Sape, or Microfinance Banks, to name a few who have been giving out loans for small businesses, there is not so much they can do due to the fact that access is often difficult for women who live in rural areas. There is also the fact that many women remain illiterate.
Even when there have been huge changes for women in terms of employment in the past decades, with women moving into paid employment outside the home in which their grandmothers and even their mothers could only dream of, female entrepreneurs are still struggling to get to the top.
With International Women’s Day almost on our doorstep, let’s all make it a day to celebrate, a day to cherish the feeling of Womanhood, a day to come together and raise our voices to support other women around the world.
It’s a Day to be proud of being a women.