BULOLO MP Sam Basil wants Government departments to create programmes aimed at increasing opportunities for women to excel in owning and managing small businesses.
He said PNG’s male dominated society was due to culture and tradition.
This, he said, did little to encourage women to excel as business owners and managers.
“This is still a hindrance to the development of the status of women,’’ he said.
“It is more challenging for rural women to explore new areas in small businesses, as revealed in the maiden women in business expo in Lae last week.
“It also showed women’s determination to be self-sufficient,” he said.
Mr Basil said gender issues were real and challenged politicians and leaders to set the pace to help women to succeed in businesses ventures.
He called on the Commerce and Trade Minister Gabriel Kapris to do more to open up the market for women to sell their produce at outside markets.
Mr Basil said the Department of Trade and Industry must also help reduce import taxes of raw materials used by small scale business owners.
He said the Education Department must develop training programmes that introduced new skills and knowledge to women, as well as management skills of small businesses.
“I have already set the pace for other members by involving women in agriculture programmes in my district.
“The bee farming project, cattle and inland fish farming programmes will be 70% driven by women,” he said.
Mr Basil commended Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare’s announcement to allocate K1 million to all districts for women’s groups who would like to engage in small scale businesses to improve their living standards.