Potential areas of intervention.3.1 Introduction
The development of a sustained commitment to gender sensitive policies and programs cannot take place unless there are major shifts in attitudes and practices at all levels of government, non government and community administration, and within families and households. Although the goals of 'integral human development' and 'equal participation' were adopted in the PNG (Portable Network Graphics) A bitmapped graphics file format endorsed by the World Wide Web Consortium. It is expected to eventually replace the GIF format, because there are lingering legal problems with GIFs. Constitution, there has been little success in translating these policy statements into sustained action.
The past five years have seen a marked increase in awareness among women and men that equal participation and a greater sense of partnership is an important goal. Government and non government agencies have initiated a number of programs aimed at improving the status of women in society and achieving the goal of integral human development. Greater coordination and cooperation are now required to overcome isolationist i·so·la·tion·ism
A national policy of abstaining from political or economic relations with other countries.
i or competitive attitudes that hinder sustained action.
The 1997 Human Development Report refers to the need "to mobilize alliances and partnerships". In analyzing the significance of different key gender issues, the aim is to develop appropriate participatory strategies. These will ideally involve "alliances, partnerships and compromises" between all agencies and organizations working towards more sustained gendered development. Governments, NGOs and other institutions do not empower people. People empower themselves. Through policies and actions governments can either create a supportive environment or put up barriers to empowerment (UNDP UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNDP Unión Nacional para la Democracia y el Progreso (National Union for Democracy and Progress) : 1997, p. 96).
The development of a more equal partnership will also involve identifying past and present influences which affect gender relationships, and working with men as well as women to bring about positive and sustainable change. It will also be important to recognize the diversity of male responses to gender inequality as these responses mirror the multidimensional nature of communities throughout PNG.
The identification and implementation of appropriate participatory strategies has to take into account the specific needs of women in particular socioeconomic and environmental situations, from different ethnic groups, and at different stages in their life cycle. Awareness of the historical background of cultural, religious and colonial attitudes and practices helps to deepen understanding of where women are corning from so that appropriate participatory strategies can be determined. Education, employment, and household income and consumption patterns may all have a differential impact on the degree to which women currently participate in the wider society. While it would be impractical to attempt to document all their life circumstances, a number of significant factors affect the capacity of women to participate in the economic and political life of their communities, and that of the nation as a whole.
This section will deal with the major causes of the low status of women in PNG. This includes the attitudes of men, violence and discrimination, the lack of women's public decision-making powers, their low position in the workplace, low levels of literacy and health, and barriers in accessing credit. The interventions suggested in this section are aimed to address the core structural forms of inequality between genders in PNG in a way that is inclusive of inclusive of
Taking into consideration or account; including. men.
3.2 PNG Platform for Action
Before mapping out suggested interventions in PNG it is worth noting that the major problems and issues facing the women of PNG have been documented in the PNG Platform for Action: A Decade of Action for Women Towards National Unity and Sustainability 19952000. This document was developed from extensive consultation with Government, non government organizations and individuals, particularly women, throughout the nation. It is thus the most comprehensive identification of issues and problems facing women in PNG.
The PNG Platform for Action recommends strategies for addressing the critical areas of concern of women, which includes priority recommendations for each of the nine critical areas of concern. This is an extensive, and somewhat lengthy list, and very little of it appears to have been implemented. The critical areas of concern identified as the major problems facing women of PNG are listed in Appendix 3.
The Post-Beijing Declaration for Action on the Development of Women (dated 22 November 1995) and the Post-Beijing Report identified four key priorities from the Platform. These priorities identify the key areas for interventions:
* To strengthen current national, provincial, and local women's credit facilities credit facilities npl → facilidades fpl de crédito
credit facilities npl → facilités fpl de paiement
credit facilities and to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study The analysis of a problem to determine if it can be solved effectively. The operational (will it work?), economical (costs and benefits) and technical (can it be built?) aspects are part of the study. Results of the study determine whether the solution should be implemented. leading to the participation in Women's World Banking Women's World Banking (WWB) is a non-profit organization, based in New York, whose mission is to expand the economic assets, participation and power of low-income women entrepreneurs by helping them access financial services and information. ;
* To mainstream gender issues in all government policies and development planning and administration;
* Bearing in mind the urgent need to increase the health, education and literacy status of women in PNG, to increase funding for women and children and related programs by 10% each year;
* To work towards the establishment of the Office of the Status of Women.
3.3 Discrimination and Decisionmaking
In order to address problems related to the low status of women, it was noted in the Country Strategy Note 1997-2001 that the Government and NGOs "recognize that partnership between men and women is vital and have started to undertake the mamstxeaming of gender issues and gender training" (UNDP/GoPNG: 1995, p. 10). The aim should be to realize the second constitutional goal that all citizens, men and women, "have an equal opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, the development of our country" (Constitution of the Independent State of PapuaNew Guinea 1975, National Goals and Directive Principles).
"This means that women must participate equally, just as much as men. We must implement policies to fulfill this national goal and directive by introducing specific measures to increase the number of women involved in all levels of political, economic, and social participation and decision-making. The Government must ensure the enforcement of all existing laws protecting women's equality rights and freedoms (Individual and Community Rights Advocacy Forum [ICRAF ICRAF International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (Kenya)
ICRAF Individual and Community Rights Advocacy Forum ]: 1997, p. 15)." Critical areas that need to be dealt with are:
* The inclusion of women in the decision-making processes and community consultations in equal numbers to men.
* Development of programs aimed at improving women's status and addressing systematic discrimination at local and government levels.
All facets of women's legal, social and economic position are affected by the way in which men and women view women's role in their particular community, or the wider Papua New Guinean society. In some situations negative community attitudes, plus a fear of the impact of changed power relations, may be barriers to greater access to social and economic opportunities. For women who are employed in the formal work force there are inherent tensions in negotiating a more balanced sharing of domestic responsibilities. In all these situations, domestic violence and marital disharmony dis·har·mo·ny
1. Lack of harmony; discord.
2. Something not in accord; a conflict: "the disharmonies that assail the most fortunate of mortals" Peter Gay. may be added elements, which militate against mil´i`tate a`gainst´
v. t. 1. To argue against; to cast doubt on; - used in reference to facts which tend to disprove a hypothesis; as, the absence of a correlation of budget deficits with inflation militates against any causal relation positive outcomes.
What is perhaps most difficult to counter is the passive resistance to change among male decision-makers, whether in the formal sector or in village communities. Policies or projects that promote the advancement of women may be agreed upon Adj. 1. agreed upon - constituted or contracted by stipulation or agreement; "stipulatory obligations"
noncontroversial, uncontroversial - not likely to arouse controversy , but there is no serious commitment to implementation. Tensions and conflicts within and between women's groups and between government and non government agencies may provide further justification for inaction.
In some Papua New Guinean societies women's rights The effort to secure equal rights for women and to remove gender discrimination from laws, institutions, and behavioral patterns.
The women's rights movement began in the nineteenth century with the demand by some women reformers for the right to vote, known as suffrage, and have been so depleted and negated by negative attitudes, and the distorted impact of colonial and modern developments on the existing social structure, that women do indeed feel powerless.
At the same time it is clear that attitudes are changing and that progress, however uneven and patchy, is being made particularly among younger men and women. Although negative male attitudes may create problems for some professional women, others have found that their success is accepted and encouraged by their husbands and kin.
Not all of the men are unconscious of their own attitudes and their impact on women's careers. Some have stated quite directly that in order for women to have equal opportunities men themselves must change their way of thinking (M.A. Gibson: 1993, p. 91).
* Gender analysis training for decision-makers in Government, non government organizations and the private sector.
* Implement Train the Trainer gender analysis sessions for senior male public servants.
Training is essential as a first step in addressing discrimination against women, particularly in the workplace, however it is also essential that the participants see the training as valuable, high status, and reputable. Training some high-level male gender analysis facilitators could be an important step towards increasing the status of gender training in the eyes of some male decision-makers.
It is essential to have guidelines and regulations on discriminatory behavior to accompany the training and awareness program of gender analysis and workplace discrimination. These regulations should also be monitored and enforced.
* Support provision of legislation, possibly though a Human Rights Act, "to provide for the prevention and protection of sexual harassment sexual harassment, in law, verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature, aimed at a particular person or group of people, especially in the workplace or in academic or other institutional settings, that is actionable, as in tort or under equal-opportunity statutes. from bosses and colleagues in the work place. This legislation should have a mechanism for complaint, remedy, compensation, and punishment procedures" (ICRAF: 1997, p. 18).
Any analysis of gender issues needs to acknowledge that successful approaches to renegotiating male/female relations Involves a shifting of power and resource management to a more equal and shared societal framework. This will not happen without some tension and resistance. Developing ways of mediating and resolving these conflicts will be essential for a successful outcome.
Many projects that aim to increase the status of women have worked exclusively with women, and seen women as having the power to create change. However this may lead to women suffering further discrimination, isolation, or in some cases violence.
It is essential that intervention strategies do not put women at further risk. Speaking out on issues of gender equity can attract negative attention and cause women to be publicly humiliated hu·mil·i·ate
tr.v. hu·mil·i·at·ed, hu·mil·i·at·ing, hu·mil·i·ates
To lower the pride, dignity, or self-respect of. See Synonyms at degrade. , ostracized and beaten. An example of this was the public trial of Sarah Garap, who had an article on the hardships of women published in the local newspaper. She was working as the Provincial Women's Officer in Simbu at the time. She attended the markets the day following the publication of the article and was confronted by many people on the article. Gradually the crowd grew to over 300 and it became a public trial with the District Manager demanding compensation.
Church and Culture
Often custom and religion are used against women. Selective parts of the Bible are quoted, usually from the Old Testament with little reference to the whole concept of Christianity. Customary law is also very selectively used in relation to those aspects of culture which are retained. The maintenance of discriminatory customs against women such as polygamy polygamy: see marriage.
Marriage to more than one spouse at a time. Although the term may also refer to polyandry (marriage to more than one man), it is often used as a synonym for polygyny (marriage to more than one woman), which appears and punishment often are maintained.
* Further study and work needs to be conducted into the selective use of culture in justification of the subordination of women.
* Possible interventions in this area would be gender analysis training for church personnel, and strengthening of Women's Desks within the church.
In her speech to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women The United Nations convened the Fourth World Conference on Women on September 4-15, 1995 in Beijing, China. Delegates had prepared a Platform for Action that aimed at achieving greater equality and opportunity for women. , Ms Felecia Dobunaba, Head of the PNG Delegation, noted domestic violence as a priority issue in the national report. Domestic and other forms of violence are a major concern in PNG and have a pervasive impact in many other areas, especially on women's health Women's Health Definition
Women's health is the effect of gender on disease and health that encompasses a broad range of biological and psychosocial issues. , decision-making and their general well being.
The major problem facing women in PNG was is male attitudes and violence towards women. Although law and order are perceived as critical issues for both genders in PNG, there is a distinct gender difference in attitudes towards these issues and assessing the effects of violence. Such high rates of domestic violence against women leads commensurately to a low status of women and low participation of women in decision-making.
A particularly disturbing aspect of domestic violence is the tendency to view it as socially acceptable behavior, rather than recognizing it to be a deviant and criminal act in clear violation of a woman's rights. Communities which allow violent acts against women to be perpetuated with very little censure or minimal punishment indicates that informal social controls are being eroded and new structures do not provide a solid moral foundation for an adequate response to the situation.
Men as Actors of Change
Male attitudes to women and their propensity to violence against women are key structural and systemic problems preventing the advancement of women. Addressing structural causes of inequality is not easy and will take time. Men need to become a more active in gender analysis as the targets and beneficiaries, as well as teachers and role models.
* There is a need for study and work to strengthen efforts of men as leaders and actors in promoting gender equity. A Men Against Violence group was established at UPNG UPNG University of Papua New Guinea several years ago, however after the women who assisted with the establishment of the group took a "backseat" the group disintegrated.
* Maxine Makail from ICRAF considers that it is too late for many men to change their attitudes. She believes that a more effective strategy to start educating boys before they have been socialized into sexist behaviors.
Learning from Other Melanesian Countries
The Fiji Women's Crisis Center is the leading regional center on issues of violence against women. Several women from PNG have attended training sessions held at the center, however there has not been a concerted strategy to ensure the ongoing training of counselors and advocacy workers in this specialized area.
Women in Prisons
Very little positive action appears to have been taken to reduce the number of women who receive prison sentences. After discussing the reasons why women were imprisoned, Anou Borrey (1992: p.25) concludes that:
Many elements come into play against the position of women. We actually end up with a mixture of female prisoners so strange that we cannot but wonder what they are doing in prison.
Because the rate of imprisonment Imprisonment
See also Isolation.
former federal maximum security penitentiary, near San Francisco; “escapeproof.” [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 218]
German prison ship in World War II. [Br. Hist. of women is less than one-sixth of that of men, maintaining and upgrading of facilities for female prisoners and the provision of training and rehabilitation services are often seen as less important. The Report on the Prisons of Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (păp`ə, –y 1963-1986 (Department of Corrective Institutions: 1991) discussed the cost of upgrading facilities for small numbers of female detainees. It noted that the constitutional requirement that offenders should not normally be removed from their home areas was a valid objection to any solution which involved a single centralized women's prison (See various Annual Reports of the Department of Corrective Institutions. Most women offenders are unlikely to be a danger to the general community and one solution would be to make greater use of probation as an alternative to imprisonment.
The 1992 Annual Report of the Probation Service noted that 588 women and 3,398 men were under the supervision of the probation service, only a slightly higher proportion of women than those in prison. However, out of 263 voluntary probation officers, only 10 were women, reflecting the interplay of cultural and attitudinal factors involved in recruitment and retention (See Annual Reports of the Department of the Attorney General Probation Service).
* Greater understanding and acceptance by village and local courts of the use of compensation, community work, and probation could provide more humane and just alternatives for many women in conflict with the law.
* Increased employment, training and promotional opportunities for women in the police service, the courts and corrective institutions would make women more visible, help ensure equal treatment, and lessen incidents of harassment Ask a Lawyer
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The largest problems facing women, children and men in PNG are high infant and maternal mortality rates and the life expectancy Life Expectancy
1. The age until which a person is expected to live.
2. The remaining number of years an individual is expected to live, based on IRS issued life expectancy tables. . The PNG Department of Health estimates that 80-90% of maternal and infant deaths could be prevented if the following changes occurred.
* Adequate antenatal an·te·na·tal
before parturition. Called also prenatal, antepartal. care. Cuts in funding to health services health services Managed care The benefits covered under a health contract have had a disastrous effect on service delivery, especially in rural areas. Buildings are often substandard, health workers are not paid for weeks on end and basic equipment and pharmaceuticals are not supplied. This lowers morale of health workers and makes their it impossible for them to do their jobs. There are also cultural factors that inhibit women from seeking antenatal care (see Marshall: 1985).
* Improved nutrition. Nutritional status nutritional status,
n the assessment of the state of nourishment of a patient or subject. varies greatly with respect to gender in PNG. In most societies women and girls eat less food, have less protein and iron in their diet than men, and are relatively undernourished (Badcock: 1988; Gillett: 1990). Women's work in garden production is often arduous and during pregnancy this places great strain on her body's resources. In some areas cultural restrictions on foods that can be eaten during pregnancy and lactation lactation
Production of milk by female mammals after giving birth. The milk is discharged by the mammary glands in the breasts. Hormones triggered by delivery of the placenta and by nursing stimulate milk production. have a deleterious effect on health and postnatal postnatal /post·na·tal/ (-na´t'l) occurring after birth, with reference to the newborn.
Of or occurring after birth, especially in the period immediately after birth. recovery.
* Greater knowledge and use of family planning family planning
Use of measures designed to regulate the number and spacing of children within a family, largely to curb population growth and ensure each family’s access to limited resources. methods, and use of contraception by sexually active women younger than 18 and older than 35.
There are very strong cultural factors promoting the desire for large families. More than 35% of people belong to Christian denominations that prohibit or discourage the use of contraception. In areas where these churches have provided health services, no contraception advice or provision of contraceptives is available to women. Health authorities have developed excellent outreach programs, but proper implementation is hampered by lack of funds (Dickson: 1993). UNFPA UNFPA United Nations Population Fund (formerly United Nations Fund for Population Activities)
UNFPA United Nations Fund for Population Activities (now United Nations Population Fund) has been extremely active in implementing awareness and information programs in family planning throughout PNG.
* Referral of high-risk pregnancies to hospitals.
Obstetric facilities to deal with high-risk births are limited and require women to leave their villages. Many are reluctant to do this even when their condition is potentially life threatening (Street: 1993).
Comparative studies indicate that lack of maternal care in pregnancy and childbirth is the most significant factor in maternal mortality. Since 1990 the percentage of supervised births has risen from 24% to 49% however this is still low compared with other Pacific countries. Despite numerous studies which have stressed the need for improvement of women's health services, there has been an overall decline in this area which is reflected in the increases in maternal and neonatal deaths in provinces such as Milne Bay Milne Bay
Inlet of the southwestern South Pacific Ocean, Papua New Guinea. Located at the southeastern end of the island of New Guinea, the bay is 30 mi (50 km) long and 6–8 mi (10–13 km) wide. , Morobe, Madang and Enga (Alto et al: 1993).
The current disparity between the education levels of males and females in PNG is stark (up to a 10% difference in population). This situation becomes more alarming as the disparities between levels of education increases. There is a dire need to address this through a comprehensive and coordinated approach.
As stated in a National Council of Women (NCW NCW Network Centric Warfare
NCW Nederlands Christelijk Werkgeversverbond (Den Haag, Netherlands)
NCW National Commission for Women (India)
NCW National Council of Women (UK) ) Country Report in 1992:
Increased female enrollment at schools has largely happened in the absence of any coordinated policy approach in favor of increasing female enrollment at all levels of education. The past and present National and Provincial Education Plans have all provided statements of support for women's education, but the intention has never been translated into action. Lack of resources and management capabilities especially at the Provincial level, make it difficult to develop and fund projects aimed at improving the educational status of women (NCW: 1992, p. 9).
* There is a need for a national coordinated approach to gender equity in education. This could occur through the development of a focal point focal point
See focus. for the mainstreaming of gender equity issues throughout PNG educational institutions, to act as a clearinghouse and central database.
Many studies and papers have cited the need for a comprehensive and coherent coordinated approach to gender equity issues in education in PNG (Soondrawu: 1993; Gannicott and Avalos: 1994). To date several disparate projects have addressed gender equity within their scope however there has not been a project or study which has looked at the whole sector to address the systemic issues which have led to current gender inequalities.
Several reports have indicated that although policy documents identify gender equity as an important objective within the PNG education system, there has not yet been a central point for the development of guidelines and strategies for the implementation of this objective.
Major stakeholders in this area include the National Department of Education, Office for Higher Education, Department of Personnel Management, UPNG, University of Goroka The University of Goroka is a university in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. It provides teaching in three faculties - Education, Science and Humanities.
The current (acting) vice-chancellor, Dr Michael Mel, was awarded a Prince Claus Award in 1996. , community teacher colleges, Women's Division of the Department of Home Affairs, Gender Unit in National Planning Office, and selected NGOs.
* Mainstream gender equity issues throughout teaching practice and the curriculum.
Ensuring that teaching practice and texts do not discriminate against girls is essential in a gender equity approach to education. This is aimed at addressing the problem of lack of relevance of school texts and teaching styles for females.
There are several projects that are already working on improvements in this area. This includes the AusAID Primary and Secondary Teacher education Project for PNG and the UNFPA small project on Population Education that is developing gender sensitive curriculum for high schools. There is a need for stakeholders to come together to discuss strategies in this area to ensure consistency and effectiveness in gender projects.
* Increase access, enrollment, retention and performance of gfrls in nontraditional areas of tertiary study for women through support mechanisms and mentoring programs.
In many areas of tertiary study women are virtually nonexistent non·ex·is·tence
1. The condition of not existing.
2. Something that does not exist.
non (for example in the applied sciences, law, medicine and commerce). In these areas women need support and encouragement to undertake and complete tertiary studies. A support program for them and other women in nontraditlonal areas at tertiary institutions would be an important step. An example is the PNG UNFPA Role Models project that involves role model visits to schools.
The implementation of mentorship programs would be of great assistance to women pioneering new fields.
Addressing Male Attitudes: Mi Man Tru
The Department of Health 'Mi Man Tru' campaign is encouraging men's to change their attitudes and become more responsible fathers and husbands. An urban billboard campaign is encouraging 'real men' to share in housework, decisions on smaller families with adequate spacing between children and safe sex. The billboards are illustrated by local artists and include slogans such as:
* 3 children. Both of us decided that's enough. I'm a real man!
* My wife's health is my affair because I'm a real man!
A national series of radio scripts will also be aired to reinforce the message and encourage discussion on gender roles in the community.
Community for Peace
This recently formed group is made up of non government organizations including Individual and Community Rights Advocacy Forum (ICRAF), National Council of Women (NCW), Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA YWCA
Young Women's Christian Association
YWCA n abbr (= Young Women's Christian Association) → Asociación f de Jóvenes Cristianas
YWCA ), and Lifeline PNG, as well as individuals. It started as a small group protesting violence in PNG society, particularly violence against women. The police prevented the group marching to Parliament House, however after repeated attempts, a group of 600 men and women successfully delivered petitions against violence to Parliament House. This success was due to their increased numbers and support of the newly elected member of parliament, Lady Carol Kidu Dame Carol Kidu (née Millwater), BDE, is an Australian born, Papua New Guinea politician. She is the first female cabinet minister in Papua New Guinea, serving, since 2002, as the Minister for Community Development. , who negotiated with the Prime Minister to have the gates opened. Although the Prime Minister did not meet the group, his office organized a meeting with the executive of 'Community for Peace'.
The petition calls for better training of police officers, an increase in police presence on the streets, an increase in money spent on personal security and the implementation of recommendations of the Law Reform Commission Reports, particularly Report 14 on Domestic Violence.
The United Nations Population fund The United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) began funding population programs in 1969. It was renamed the United Nations Population Fund in 1987, but kept its original abbreviation. (UNFPA), in conjunction with the National Council for Women (NCW), is implementing an innovative project addressing changing attitudes and encouraging gender equity through education and role modeling. This project is titled 'Role Models for Gender Sensitization' and presents positive male and female role models for students in schools. It looks at the need for husbands to support their wives and share in familial roles. An education kit of gender equity will be distributed to each school in PNG as a part of this awareness program.