Rural woman bags award

National, Normal

The National, Thursday, May 19, 2011

A rural businesswoman from Denglagu, in Chimbu, is the recipient of the 2011 US Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award.
Betty Maria Higgins, who owns the Mt Wilhelm Trout Farm and Betty’s Lodge in Kundiawa-Gembolg, received the prestigious award at the US embassy yesterday.
Presenting the award, US ambassador Teddy Taylor said Higgins had made a significant contribution in her local community and through her own initiative “continues to encourage, mentor and provide leadership to men and women, providing them with a livelihood through her fishery business and lodge”.
Taylor said Higgins had demonstrated the ability of women leaders to build a bridge within her area.
 “In the remotest parts of PNG, access to basic services such as health, education, clean water, electricity and markets to sell produce is challenging but Betty has proved that if there is a will, there is always a way,” he said.
Taylor said empowering women was the embassy’s top mission strategic resource plan goal.
He said the visit of secretary of state Hillary Clinton last year had  renewed interest in women’s issues, particularly in the limited opportunities for women and girls to grow and prosper”.
Higgins said the award, “is a sign that there are people out there who recognise the hardships and understand that it is quite difficult to operate a small business in PNG especially, if you are a woman”.