WOMEN in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville recently held a conference to discuss issues and priorities for them as they progress towards the referendum.
Head of governance Julie Bukikun said the women from South, Central and North Bougainville met from Aug 28 to Sept 1 to discuss the role they play in peace-building and security in the region.
“Supported by the United Nations Development Programme and the Bougainville House of Representatives’ Parliamentary Committee on Gender, Peace and Security, the conference is to ensure that Buka women’s efforts in peace building are recognised and their voices are heard,” she said.
“The UNDP is supporting referendum preparations and the delivery of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, following requests from the Government and the ABG.
“The role of women in Bougainville is critical.
“Often women are consulted privately, but only a few women have public leadership roles, making it difficult for them to have any input into government and community decision-making.
“This conference will ensure women are heard and will continue to play a significant role in Bougainville’s journey to determine its political future.”
The aim of the conference includes:
- Establishing and/or agreeing on key issues for women in Bougainville;
- understanding the Bougainville Peace Agreement and its pillars and participation in key processes such as the referendum and weapons disposal led by the Government and the ABG; and,
- Unification and solidarity to promote women’s empowerment and advance their participation in political processes.