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Appendix 2: Chronology of women's movement in PNG.


Early missionaries established womens' groups aimed at improving family welfare and to equip women to be good mothers in different parts of the country.


The National Government launches its' Eight Point Plan (Eight Point Improvement Plan), the 7th of which called for "a rapid increase in the equal and active participation of women in all forms of economic and social activity."


Mrs Tamo Diro was appointed as an advisor on Womens Affairs to the Prime Minister. A Womens' Unit was established within the office of Home Affairs within the Department of Decentralization. By this stage there was at least one Provincial Womens Activities Officer in every province.


Papua New Guinea becomes a member of the United Nations on the 10 October.

The United Nations declared as the International Womens Year. Delma Boden was appointed to coordinate the PNG involvement in International Womens Year. To commemorate the year PNG held its first National Convention for Women.


Annual Convention on Women was held in Rabaul.


Annual Convention on Women was held in Lae which resolved that March 24th be made the National Women's Day.


The National Council of Women under the leadership of Dame Rosa Tokiel decided to establish its own office and staff to run its own programs. K94,000 was allocated to NCW by the National Government.

The Womens Office in the Prime Minister's department was re-organized and also established a Womens Activist with the Office of Social Development Section in the Department of Decentralization.


The National Council of Women Incorporation Act was passed through Parliament. Provincial Councils of Women were established in provinces with membership from the existing womens groups.

The United Nations create the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women.


In June 1990, The Department of Community and Family Services was created, with the Womens Activities Section.


The National Government allocated K350.000 to fund womens projects all around the country. During this year the Department of Community and Family services was abolished and the womens functions was transferred to the Office of Youth & Recreation which then changed the office title to Office of Youth, Women, Religion and Recreation.


In May 1983 the Womens Division was established within the office of Youth, Women, Religion and Recreation. The office was staffed by an Assistant Director and Program Manager. Policy and Program Development supersede previous functions of the division.

The same year, the Womens Division set up and established a national coordinating committee which acted in an advisory role to the ministry on policy, program and training matters for women. Its membership was derived from the six (6) major churches and YWCA and including the National Council of Women. This was due to the fact that not all womens organizations were yet members of the National Council of Women.

During the same year a national Workshop was organized at St. Joseph's Lae by the Women Division to develop a National Program for Women. The government had refused to grant further funding for national women's activities unless there was a program in place. An additional task of the Women's Division was to develop ground work for the National Women's Policy.


The government introduced the first ever National Development Program for Women with major aims to:

(1) Mobilize women into the development of the country consistent with the national Goals and Directive Principles especially Goals 1 and 2 and the 7th point of the Eight Aims.

(2) To build up a strong network of womens organizations from districts to national levels to implement this mobilization.

Government funding became a stronger focus and K100,000 was allocated to this program.


In 1985 The Office of Youth, Women, Religion and Recreation was split into two separate Departments--The Department of Youth and Development and the Department of Home Affairs--Women became a part of Home Affairs. After 8 months the 2 departments were amalgamated.

In response to the end of UN Decade for Women--1975-1985, PNG held a National Womens Forum to review progress made and prepare for participation for the Nairobi Conference (the United Nations Third World Conference on Women). The review highlighted the need for Government Policy on women.

During the period 1985-1987 the National Council of Women was defunct and there were calls for its reorganization.


Department of Home Affairs and Youth Established and the Women's Division grew.

A special conference was held at the Administrative College to revive the National Council of Women. A committee was appointed, headed by Mrs Au Doko Aruai to make recommendations for improvement. During 1986 serious work commenced on the National Womens Policy.

The period from 1983 to 1986 was very quiet for NCW because there was no financial backing from government. Ms Angela Soso was the president during this period.


Intensive consultations began with Womens Organizations and the provinces on the development of the National Womens Policy.


The National Council of Women was revived under the leadership of Mrs Bungtabu Brown. The Women Division provided secretarial support to NCW to have it function effectively until the National Council of Women recruited its own staff.


Mrs Bungtabu Brown introduced a new concept--the establishment of a Commission on the Status of Women. A special conference was organized in Madang to discuss the proposal. The proposal was accepted in principle but faced heavy criticism from the churches and the government.


Pacific Mainstream Project piloted in 4 countries of the Pacific, including PNG.


A special meeting was held in Lae. A no confidence vote in Mrs Bungtabu Brown was passed. Maria Kopkop was appointed with a Caretaker Committee.


In January 1991 the National Executive Council endorsed the National Womens Policy.

A Convention took place in Goroka which adopted new rules for NCW and proper elections were conducted which elected Maria Kopkop as president.


In October the PNG National Womens Policy was launched. A Gender and Development Unit was established in the Department of Finance and Planning. A Review of National Women's Machinery was developed by a committee comprising of DHAY, NPO, NCW and PM's Department.


Gender Training of Trainers for Planners and Community leaders agencies involved included the NPO, DHAY and the National Council of Women.


The Madang NCW Convention passed the Madang Declaration for the Advancement of PNG women and elected Dame Abaijah as president. The convention called for amendments in the NCW Act and the establishment of the Office of the Status of Women. It also calls for training of womens' officers and women leaders to be more aware of their complementary roles in a changing PNG.

Gender Awareness Training undertaken through project cycle for Planners and others separately for awareness purposes through both the statistical and planning component through NPO and Advocacy through DHAY.


Papua New Guinea ratifies the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

The United Nations holds the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt.

A National Womens' Machinery Committee was appointed and directed to present its findings to the National Council of Women Annual General Meeting. The committee's recommendations were disregarded by NCW and appointed its own review committee led by Mrs Nahau Rooney. This committee called for a separate ministry to be headed by the Womens' Nominated Representative and new legislation for National Council of Women enabling women to discuss issues of regional focus and improving on national issues.

Pacific Womens Regional Meetings opened up to include relevant central agencies and the National Council of Women enabling women to discuss issues of regional focus and improving on national issues.


Establish National Steering Committee to prepare for the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing Conference). Many preparatory meetings were held throughout PNG with the development of the government endorsed document PNG Platform for Action: A Decade of Action for Women Towards National Unity and Sustainability 1995-2000. The Granville Declaration on Emergency Action for Women's Development and the Future of PNG was also signed prior to the Conference. Over 100 women from PNG attended the Beijing Conference.
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Title Annotation:Gender Analysis in Papua New Guinea
Publication:Gender Analysis in Papua New Guinea
Date:Nov 1, 1998
Previous Article:Identification of major information gaps.
Next Article:Appendix 3: Papua New Guinea platform for action.

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