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BPW OCEANIA Leadership conference . Voices of Pacific Women Pago Pago, American Samoa 24 – 27 October 2012. Presentation by BPW Papua New Guinea Brenda Auhava, Vice President Wendy Doa, Secretary Peggy Kala, Member. Papua New Guinea country SnapshoT. Geographical

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Bpw oceania leadership conference

BPW OCEANIALeadership conference

Voices of Pacific Women

Pago Pago, American Samoa

24 – 27 October 2012

Presentation by BPW Papua New Guinea

Brenda Auhava, Vice President

Wendy Doa, Secretary

Peggy Kala, Member

Papua new guinea country snapshot
Papua New Guineacountry SnapshoT


  • Papua New Guinea is the largest of the Pacific Island nations covering approximately 460,000 square kilometres.

  • Papua New Guinea’s varied and rugged terrain supports an extraordinary range of ecosystems and biodiversity. The country has a rich and unique cultural and ethnic diversity and is known for its richly endowed natural resources and geographical features including islands, beaches, coral reefs, swamps and dense tropical mountains.

  • The population is 7milion and women make up almost 50% and 85% of the people live in rural areas generally living a subsistence lifestyle.

Country snapshot cont
country SnapshoT (CONT.)


  • The eastern half of the island of New Guinea was divided between Germany (north) and the UK (south) in 1885. The latter area was transferred to Australia in 1902, who had already occupied the northern portion during World War I and continued to administer the combined areas until independence in 1975.After World War II both areas came under Australian rule until Papua New Guinea gained independence in 1975. Papua New Guinea joined the United Nations on 10 October 1975.

Country snapshot cont1
country SnapshoT (CONT.)


  • Papua New Guinea has a parliamentary democratic system and follows the Westminster system of government which is made up of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary arm. It is a member of the Commonwealth of nations. Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of State represented by a Governor General. The Head of the Government is the Prime Minister. Honourable Peter O’Neil is our current PM. Three women were elected to Parliament in the recent national elections in June 2012 and one has been appointed the Minister for Community Development in the current ministerial cabinet, a portfolio our founder and patron Dame Carol Kidu held in the last Parliament. Papua New Guinea has 22 provinces and Port Moresby is the capital city. Each province has its provincial capital and the Governor is the head of the province. There are 111 electorates and each is represented by a member in the National Parliament.

  • Women had the right to vote since independence and to date still exercise that right. The first women to enter parliament was in 1977 when three women were elected to parliament two years after gaining independence.

Country snapshot cont2
country SnapshoT (CONT.)


  • Papua New Guinea has one of the richest cultural heritages in the world. People’s cultural resources go hand in hand with the traditional uses of the biodiversity.

  • The official language of Papua New Guinea is Tok Pisin and English. Motu is also widely spoken and is dominant in the coastal areas.

  • Papua New Guinea is a strongly traditional society with customs based on traditional tribal practice. The wantok system is practised widely in business and society as a way of assisting each other.

Country snapshot cont3
country SnapshoT (CONT.)


  • Papua New Guinea is richly endowed with natural resources, but utilization has been hampered by rugged terrain and the high cost of developing infrastructure.

  • Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for 85% of the population.

  • Mineral deposits, including copper, gold, and oil account  for nearly two-thirds of export earnings.

  • The Public Service (Government) is the largest employer with Bank South Pacific, Exxon Mobil and CPL Group being the significant employers in the Private Sector.

  • Businesses that women own are small to medium size which include car hire, real estate, private school but are very small in numbers. According to the SME Baseline Data Survey conducted by SBDC PNG, 860 females are in small businesses out of a total of 11, 250 which is about 14.8%.

Country snapshot cont4
country SnapshoT (CONT.)


  • Papua New Guinea 's diverse flora and fauna boasts a total of  about a 400,000 to  700,000 species, thereby having one of the biggest ecological systems in the world.

  • The climate is tropical; northwest monsoon is (December to March), southeast monsoon (May to October); slight seasonal temperature variation and terrain is mostly mountains with coastal lowlands and rolling foothills.

Country snapshot cont d
Country snapshot (cont’d)


  • Papua New Guinea has the highest number of indigenous languages in the world which numbers over 800.

  • Papua New Guineans may speak 2- 3 different languages at one time and can communicate with each other effectively.

  • This makes Papua New Guinea have one of the world’s most diverse cultural heritage.

Country snapshot cont d1
Country snapshot (cont’d)


  • Papua New Guinea is a developing country and faces many challenges such as Gender Based Violence, Reproductive Health, Infant and Maternal Mortality, HIV/Aids, Education, Economic Disparity (as a result of widespread corruption at all levels), Lack of Women’s Participation in political decision making, Unreliability of state-owned utilities and Access to Basic government services.

  • With the current economic boom in Papua New Guinea’s mining and petroleum industry, we hope the revenues from these sector will be utilized to address these challenges.

  • NRI reports that the literacy rate has dropped below 50% in 2011, so that is 6% lower in the last census in 2000 which was 56%.The literacy rate for women is higher than men which was 70% compared to 64% in 2009.( The literacy rate for young women increased by 6% and for young men it decreased by 5%). The low literacy rate was a result of many school age children staying out of school.

  • A honest and transparent government is needed to go forward in our development as a nation.