Empowering Rural Women and Youths in Papua New Guinea on Group Leadership & Agri-Business Management

EU-STREIT PNG addresses gender-based violence and its subsequent negative impact on inclusive participation and transformational change in seven remote villages in Sandaun Province.

©FAO/Leo Wafiwa


A 5-day intensive training workshop on establishing and organising agri-business groups, with a focus on Group Leadership and Business Management skills, was recently organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), under EU-STREIT PNG Programme, for 70 cluster group leaders inclusive of women and potential youth leaders from seven villages in West Aitape Local Level Government, Sandaun Province.

The workshop also focused on raising awareness on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) among cocoa, vanilla and fisheries farming communities. The venue for the training was Marubian Village (Ulau 2), located along the tropical west coastline of Aitape.

Lack of knowledge and skills in leadership, particularly among rural women and youth, prevents villagers from partaking equally in decision-making at the executive level of farmer groups. With this insight, the farmers were also trained on how to establish and manage their cooperatives in a gender-sensitive manner. 

The first sessions, focused on the importance of mainstreaming gender and youth perspectives and addressed issues of gender-based violence within the three targeted value chains. The sharing of household roles and responsibilities to allow for additional time to contribute positively in farming activities for quality and quantity production, the gender constraints in the value chain development as well as valuing everyone’s inputs by family members for appropriate reward and respect were some of the issues discussed.

It was the first time that the villagers were learning about shared gender roles in contrast to some existing cultural norms. Through group discussions, participants came to realise how the sharing of household workload could   improve their lives as well as their farming output. "Everything begins in the house. As long as we share responsibilities within the house, we can save time and be more productive on the farms," explained Ms Patu Shang, Programme's Gender and Youth Inclusion Specialist.

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