10 Jun 2009

Bougainville workshop to help with women landowner woes

3:21 pm on 10 June 2009

Female landowners from throughout the autonomous Bougainville region in Papua New Guinea are attending a workshop aimed at helping them take leadership over their land.

A two-day workshop this week at Buka Hospital is a partnership project between the New Zealand based Pacific Cooperation Foundation, Bougainville's Leitana Nehan Women's Development Agency and the Papua New Guinea Environmental Law Centre.

The Chief Executive of the PCF, Meg Poutasi, says the customary landowners, all of whom are women, often lack the knowledge and skills to be able to assert their land ownership rights, both under the law and in land disputes.

"Part of the two-day workshop is around negotiation skills as well, to lift your skills around how you can negotiate with people who are prepared to offer you a lease and how you can formalise arrangements as well. So really just an information gathering and skill building session about how to get the most out of the situation that exists."

Meg Poutasi says she hopes the workshop will also lead to women to standing as political candidates.