11 Jun 2009

Oxfam encourages PNG women to opt for politics in land right bids

6:35 pm on 11 June 2009

The aid agency Oxfam says it hopes women who've attended a workshop in the autonomous region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea on asserting their rights as landowners will seek positions in local government to better represent themselves.

The two-day workshop, the first of its kind, was a joint project between the Pacific Cooperation Foundation, the Leitana Nehan Women's Development Agency and the Environmental Law Centre and was aimed at empowering women, who are landowners under the matrilineal law.

The Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand, Barry Coates, says it is important to include women in decision making processes involving land.

"It's vitally important that women do get involved in local politics. There's been some examples from the Highlands recently where women in local government are making a real difference in the quality of decision making. It's really encouraging that from this workshop process there is that encouragement for more women to seek positions in local government."

Barry Coates of Oxfam.