The president of Bougainville has paid tribute to the Leitana Nehan Women's Development Agency for its efforts to combat gender based violence.
During the opening of the agency's new resource centre John Momis praised its long time director, Helen Hakena.
He said the agency had been a beacon of hope and a safe haven for marginalised Bougainville women, who will be empowered by the new facility.
Mr Momis said women have played an integral part in the Bougainville peace process and continue to do so as the region prepares for its referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea.
He also thanked the governments of Japan, New Zealand and the United States for their continued support for the women of Bougainville.