A two day high powered women’s forum began today in the nation’s capital. The theme of the forum is “Working together to Inspire Change.”
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill addressed the 300 participants.
He said his government is committed to gender equality.
He also announced the building of the county’s first women and children’s hospital to be constructed in Port Moresby.
They came from all over the country, selected through a nomination process.
Included in the mix were representatives from various organizations that advocate for the empowerment of women including aid organizations.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s presence added a lot of importance to the event.
It was opened by core organizers United States Embassy and the United Nations representatives to PNG.
Mr. O’Neill acknowledged that women play a critical role in the society. He predicted more women will be elected into parliament come the 2017 elections.
He announced that apart from providing basic health care, and building of the first women and children’s hospital that will take place soon.
He gave assurance that his government was interested in the recommendations of the forum.
Minister for Community Development Loujaya Kouza paid respect to the late National Women’s Council President, Skola Kakas.
The first panel discussion ran with the title, developing the next generation of women leaders.
It was agreed that older women need to take up advisory roles for the young generation, instead of seeing them as a threat.
The second panel involved women who have been involved in conflict resolutions including leaders from Bougainville and the Highlands.
Also during the forum, PNG’s first female politician, Dame Josephine Abaijah, was recognized with a woman of courage award.
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