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Women, Development and Empowerment: A Pacific Feminist Perspective

Workshop Discussion

Workshop Discussion

The conclusion on the PNG NCW was that it was never really supported by existing women's organisations in the provinces. One problem was the need to recognise church groups and work through existing organisations, because they represented a communications system that was already established that could be used.

The PNG case was considered one of the less successful experiences of a National Council of Women. Most other Pacific countries established their Councils of Women after PNG. Four countries where the Councils had run more successfully were: Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. In Vanuatu, the staff on the page 50 Council of Women were civil servants and paid for by the Government to work for the Council of Women. One view was that a good working relationship with the government was a necessary factor if national organisations were to work successfully.

A question was asked on whether, when government funds were allocated to national organisations, training in finance management was also provided. One area where government support for a national machinery could be strengthened would be to provide training in management and financial skills for the women placed in leadership positions in the organisations. Another problem was that funds did not reach most women, especially women in the interior areas. Women and women's organisers in the remote areas therefore suffered from a lack of financial support and personnel resources, despite a national machinery and funding being available.

Black and white photograph of a woman sewing.