Gender & Elections, Bougainville

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The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in cooperation with the Government of Papua New Guinea (especially PNG Electoral Commission) hosted the “Sub-National Building Resources in Democracy, Governance & Elections (BRIDGE) Gender and Elections Module Workshop” for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville from the 28th February to 15th March 2010.

The sub-national workshop is the outcome of previous and ongoing consultation between UNIFEM GEPG and Governments, women’s organizations, civil society, other UN agencies for collaboration in empowering stakeholders towards advancing gender equality in political governance in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville; as well as supporting the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This programme was funded by UNIFEM Fiji.

Participants (prominent figures)

The workshop brought together about 49 participants (37 women and 12 men) from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

  • Elizabeth Burain, Regional Interim President of the Bougainville Women’s Federation
  • Rose Pihei, President of South Bougainville Women’s Federation.
  • Hona Holan, President of North Bougainville Women’s Federation.
  • Theresa Jaintong, National Treasurer, National Council of Women.
  • Elizabeth Sawai, President, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Council of Women.
  • Thomas Waikami, Political Party Official
  • Albert Toro, Political Party Official
  • Amos Ove, Senior ABG Advisor
  • Aloysius Laukai, Managing Director, New Dawn FM.
  • Peter Sohia, Senior Journalist
  • Christine Irisia, Gender Officer, UNDP
  • Dona Pearson, Gender Offficer, UNDP

Objectives

The Gender and Elections Module has four (4) main objectives:

  1. For participants including those representing Election Management Bodies (EMB) to understand why women’s participation is important and how to improve it. For example, through the introduction of Temporary Special Measures (TSM)
  2. For women’s advocacy groups to understand the electoral process and develop strategies to promote women’s participation
  3. Provide tools for all participants to look at elections from a gender perspective.
  4. Provide a networking opportunity for women’s advocacy groups.

UNIFEM’s GEPG Programme is a 5 years initiative co-funded by AusAID under its Pacific Leadership Programme (PLP). The programme will contribute to advancing gender equality in political governance in the Pacific region at both national and local levels with the main purpose of increasing the participation of women as active citizens and leaders.

The workshop ended on Friday the 12th of March 2010 by the Honorable James Tanis, Bougainville President who gave the closing remarks from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

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