THE United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will run a six-day workshop and practice parliament for Papua New Guinean women in Port Moresby from 6-11 March.
For some years, UNDP has been running practice parliaments for women across the Pacific to support more women’s participation in elections and to raise awareness of women in politics and leadership roles.
Despite this, Pacific women are still grossly under-represented in parliament. In PNG, only three women are members of the 111-member national parliament.
In 2012, 50 women participated in the first ever practice parliament for women in PNG. This provided a practical forum to expose participants to the realities of policy-making and being a parliamentarian.
In a statement, UNDP said that while a range of training opportunities have been provided to PNG women, there has been criticism that these have not often resulted in women actually engaging in parliament processes.
The activity planned for March seeks to address that concern by training women on parliamentary engagement and then immediately providing them with a forum to apply the skills they have learnt, the ‘practice parliament’.
The program will include sessions with current parliamentarians and the media. Participants will be exposed to matters that affect them and their communities, including principles of democracy, election processes, parliamentary procedure and development issues.
They will also have an opportunity to improve upon and apply skills such as public speaking, debate, presentation and research.
This workshop is primarily directed at women who are considering standing for the 2017 national elections or local elections in 2018 and women community leaders who wish to develop their leadership, advocacy and policy skills.
Successful applicants in the provinces will be provided with a return economy airfare and accommodation.
There are only 40-50 places available for this training. Email UNDP at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. The deadline for applications is Friday 17 February.
For some reason that defeats my understanding only successful applicants will be notified.