Engaging and educating 1000 rural folks in Papua New Guinea to highlight and celebrate International Women’s Day 2022

EU-STREIT PNG Programme, in collaboration with local partners, marked International Women’s Day in rural Sepik with close to 1000 men, women and youth.

Female cocoa farmers, demonstrating cocoa bud grafting techniques they mastered in during #IWD2022 celebration event organised by FAO-led EU-STREIT PNG Programme in Misim Village, Drekikier, ESP, Papua New Guinea. ©FAO


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), under the EU Funded UN Joint STREIT PNG Programme, and in collaboration with local partners, celebrated International Women’s Day 2022 in rural Sepik, which was aimed at the sensitisation of the rural masses on the critical roles women play in the agri-food value chains.

The occasion was celebrated under the theme “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow,” in Misim Village, Drekikier, East Sepik Province, to recognise the contribution of women and girls, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and building a more sustainable future for all.

The activities in Misim pulled together close to 1000 farmers, including those from nearby ridges who gathered as early as 7 am to take part and observe. It was like a family occasion for the mothers, girls, and children, all dressed in their proud national colours and joined hands in the various displays and music performed by the youths and also listened to some educational speeches on how to appreciate and value women in their communities.

The keynote address delivered by Ms Patu Shang, Programme’s International Gender and Youth Inclusion Specialist, encouraged all men, women and youths to value the critical roles women play in the agri-food value chains, particularly in Cocoa, Vanilla and Fisheries, that are supported under the FAO-led rural agriculture development programme.

In attendance was also the Provincial Division of Agriculture and Livestock’s Advisor, Mr Kevin Hawan, who echoed the call for menfolk to not only respect women and girls, but to include them as equal partners in all farming activities as a family.

Women farmers from nearby Hambini Village who have been trained on cocoa propagation under the EU-STREIT Programme took the lead to showcase bud grafting skills and techniques to produce Cocoa Pod Borer (CPB)-tolerant seedlings. The women farmers from Misim Village also demonstrated how to properly cure and dry vanilla beans. This occasion was also a learning opportunity for many farmers who attended with their children.

Another highlight of the celebration was a Facebook-Live Panel Discussion, during which five female and a male panelists shared their experiences on challenges and way forward on agriculture-related works they initiated in their different villages and with the support of the EU-STREIT PNG Programme.

The discussions centred around how women are more vulnerable and prone to experience adverse impacts of climate change, including food and nutrition insecurity, and how women should be given equal and fair rights and space to participate in mitigating the impacts of climate change and its resulting consequential issues such as food insecurity and natural disasters in their communities.

The discussions also addressed the negative and unfair cultural constraints women face as community members to take part freely in agricultural development.

Learn more