On Thursday 15 July, UN Women and the Department for Community Development and Religion concluded a three-day workshop in Lae on advocacy and coalition-building for women leaders from across the Momase Region.
The workshop was the third in a series of four workshops held in each region across the country over the past few months. The workshops aim to provide an opportunity for women leaders from across each region to come together to learn more about the principles and benefits of coalition-building to support collective action.
Workshop participant Carol Mayo from West Sepik shared her reflections on the three days, “It brought unity to the women, I can see the cooperation and we learned so much…We built relationships with other women who want to contest.”
During the workshop, women leaders had an opportunity to hear from researchers, public servants and politicians who have played a role in trying to pass legislation to increase women’s representation in the National Parliament over the past few decades.
“I am supportive of the five reserved seats for women, though many of us will also contest the open and provincial seats,” said Finkewe Zurecnuoc, a participant from Morobe. “The workshop provided an excellent platform that we, Momase women, will embrace. This will help us go a long way and I am sure this will facilitate more women into Parliament. I’m very happy to be part of the Momase women’s coalition.”
The efforts of government institutions such as the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission (IPPCC), Constitutional Law and Reform Commission (CLRC) and National Research Institute (NRI) have been essential in providing technical expertise and proposing models for Temporary Special Measures (TSMs), including reserved seats for women and quotas for women in political parties. However, this work must be coupled with grassroots advocacy led by women leaders and women’s organisations, in partnership with male champions.
“The workshop was very empowering, it got us some way forward and shared some of the measures we can take to help women from our respective provinces,” said Veronica Simogun from East Sepik. “I’m going to get back and round up the people I’m working with to share how to network and empower women, finding a way forward for Momase people.”
UN Women are proud to work with the Department for Community Development and Religion to support women leaders from across the country to advance women’s political participation.