UN PNG marks International Women's Day
PNG celebrates International Women's Day with launch of inaugural national women's forum.
United Nations Women Papua New Guinea says International Women's Day (March 8) is a chance to examine challenges facing women but also acknowledge the successes already made.
The day falls on Saturday this year and has been marked by the UN since 1975.
A spokeswoman for UN Women in PNG, Julie Bukikun, spoke to Amelia Langford about the importance of the day and the launch of PNG's first national women's forum.
JULIE BUKIKUN: There are various events happening in the country, but to start off we are having a national womens forum, it's our first national forum specifically looking at the different issues affecting women in the country and this is from peace, security deployment in the business environment, the private sector, including IT, and other important issues such as womens health.
AMELIA LANGFORD: Ok, so this is the first time this women's forum has gone ahead in Papua New Guinea, is that right?
JB: Yes, in the past there have been various activities by different groups so what it's trying to do is to bring women together who don't often talk and are not in the same area of work. So, for example, in the past we've always had women leaders together, or different unions together, different associations. And this forum is the first time we've brought women from right across different sectors in the country from different parts of the country into a venue and there's about 400 plus women talking about the different issues that are affecting them. Not only those affecting them but also celebrating successes that have been done in the past and those other initiatives that are advancing women in this country.
AL: And this has been timed to coincide with international women's day, is that correct?
JB: Exactly, well International Women's Day falls on a Saturday and this event is also commemorating that. It wants to bring together women and other people who can come and talk about this issue and also looking at challenges and not forgetting the successes that have been made. One thing I would like to highlight is that one of the things the forum wants to do is also act as a forum that can bring across different recommendations from those different areas that I just pointed out so that it goes towards something more tangible where you can discuss further mainly around government policy and budgeting.
AL: Just finally, why do you think it is so important to acknowledge something like International Women's Day?
It is very important because I think most times we forget that women contribute a lot in different areas. Once we start recognising that it is important for women to receive education, to participate meaningfully in different areas of development, I think that is where our country can advance.
AL: Anything else you wanted to add?
JB: I would just like to wish everyone International Women's Day and the message from UN women is that equality for women is progress for all so we would like that to be celebrated on the 8th of March.
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