“While Gender Equality, Women’s Empowerment and ending Gender-Based Violence addresses and upholds women’s rights in the country, the promotion of these agendas is also an important means of assessing the progress and advancement of our nation, NCD Governor Powes Parkop says.
Last week an Introductory Briefing for Parliamentary Committee on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment was held at the B2 Conference Room in the Parliament House with the Deputy Chairman and East Sepik Governor, Hon. Allan Bird, Moresby North-West MP, Hon. Lohia Boe Samuel, Alotau MP, Hon. Ricky Morris, Wau-Waria MP, Hon. Marsh Narewec, and Central Governor, Hon. Rufina Peter.
The seventh committee member and Lake Kopiago MP, Hon. William Bando, passed his apology.
The Briefing covered; the Overview of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE) issues PNG needs to address and Proposals for the GEWE committee schedule over 2023-2027.
The Committee Chairman, Governor Parkop was speaking in Parliament during an introductory briefing for the Parliamentary Committee on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.
Governor Parkop noted: “A nation’s progress depends on converting its economic gains to social gains and vital to that progress and assessment is the status and advancement of women and girls in all aspects of development.”
“The work of the Parliamentary Committee is very important in this respect for women and girls and for the entire country,” he continued.
“Paramount to the advancement of women and girls is the ending of Gender-Based Violence.
Unless the safety and security of women and girls is guaranteed, they will not be able to realize their full potential, contributing meaningfully and fully to the nation-building.”
Chairman Parkop said: “The committee not only have an important task and responsibility to impact change in the gender equality and women empowerment space, but also has an great opportunity to push this much neglected national agenda and goal.”
Governor Parkop said: “Women and girls have an equal right to opportunities and all benefits of the State, reiterating his call on the men folk to respect them as equal partners and equal citizens of our country.”
Other members of the committee highlighted the need for women’s empowerment in the political space, concentrating only on GBV and perpetrators other than dealing with all the women’s issues at the same time; fast-track justice for GBV victims, the judiciary should have its own stream of the court to deal with GBV, and the police should have its own special unit to attend to GBV cases.
Also in attendance was the resident representative of the United Nations Development Programme, Dirk Wagener, with the committee’s support and technical team.
Mr Wagener assured the Committee of the UN’s technical and financial support.
The committee plans to host its first public inquiry in May this year.