By HENRY MORABANG
WOMEN leaders in maritime provinces are urged to work together to achieve social, political and most importantly economic dreams.
These were the words of Women in Business president Janet Sape while addressing a Manus women leaders meeting at NBC Beach in Lorengau last Saturday.
Sape said women must stand united in whatever they do to achieve their dreams.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Empowering women in food security, fisheries and climate change adaption’ Sape said the maritime provinces were blessed as they have both worlds – the sea and the land.
This, she said, was unlike the highlands provinces which depended on water and land alone.
However, Sape asked the women what they do with the resources that are available?
“The most important thing to do is to make money on what you have,” she said.
Out of the resolutions passed, she noticed that there was nothing on economic empowerment for leaders to start businesses and have money in their pockets.
Sape said PNG women leaders could look to Indonesia, which was an active member of the Coral Triangle Initiative, to share and learn business ideas.
“We must not stick to ourselves but open up by looking outside the box like visiting Indonesia or other island countries such as Samoa.”
“Indonesia is leading with coconut products which include coconut oil, their leaves for mat weaving, trunks for firewood and more.
“And you look at Samoa, a smaller country than PNG, it has grown big in coconut virgin oil which is currently shipped to England for beauty products,” Sape said.
She challenged the women leaders to open up their minds and learn from the neighbours to support women groups like theirs.
Sape said the maritime provinces could do that through working in cooperative societies. She said people could export direct from their villages to the world market.
“If Samoa’s coconut virgin oil can do that, Papua New Guinea must rise and do the same.”
She commended the Pihi Manus Association for taking such an initiative to support the two-day conference. Women leaders who attended the workshop included Jean Parkop, Lorengau mayor Ruth Mandrakamu and others.
By HENRY MORABANG