PNG Minister for Community Development, Youth and Religion Jason Peter

Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Community Development, Youth and Religion Jason Peter has shared some key lessons on financing for gender equality to the world’s annual meeting on Women, the United Nations CSW.

Sharing views from his government on efforts towards financing gender equality and empowerment for all women and girls, he said PNG leaders recognised the importance of access to development, financing, financial inclusion and financial investment on a sustained basis for women and girls.

“Gender equality and empowerment of women and girls remain a critical cornerstone and development priority of my government,” Minister Peter told the 4th Ministerial Roundtable at this morning’s sessions in New York, sharing practices for strengthening institutions and maximising financing to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

He noted the PNG latest development plan to 2027 recognises that to effectively reduce poverty and improve the equality and empower women and girls,inclusion and conducive financial environments will boost their benefits in formal and informal sectors.

“This also includes ensuring the promotion of gender responsive budgeting where sufficient financial resources are located, achieving gender equality, and empowerment.”

The minister shared six government initiatives aimed at financial empowerment for Papua New Guinea women and girls, who are predominantly informal sector:

*tailored and concessional lending facilities for development banks, especially PNG’s women-led microbank called Mamabank, with minimal procedural facilities and affordable lending rates to boost financial inclusion among women, youth and other vulnerable groups in the community.

*direct financial intervention to ensure SME cooperation including direct facilities to provide collateral support to women, youth and other vulnerable groups.

* promoting public private partnership to support and deliver a woman in business Intervention Programme to Stimulate and grow women’s participation in business activities.

*investing and supporting capacity building and skills development and entrepreneurship training for all women and youth.

* supporting national roll out of professional and entrepreneurship programmes and training for key populations including women and girls.

*infrastructure and accessibility programmes in partnership with UN Women and other development partners.

Minister Peter noted the initiatives are “works in progress, seeking, enabling a woman and girls to be leaders, decision makers and equal partners in nation building.”

He said helping women and girls realise their full potential includes helping them to be more self reliant and economically empowered.

He also thanked development partners for the important partnership role they play in progressing these commitments.