DAVID KASEI WAPAR
MADANG – A women’s group from Ward 6 in the Ambenob area have become the first women group to formally seek answers from the district’s ward development office.
It took hard work and commitment for the group to prepare a formal document requesting assistance from the Madang District Development Authority.
In mid-January, the group comprising more than 3,000 women from four major communities - Nagada, Riwo, Malmal and Pau - gathered in numbers to present the Ward 6 Development Project Plan to a small delegation from the ward development office.
The document cites he reasons why women should be empowered in the clan-based bottom-up planning process.
Ward 6 women’s leader Anna Kassas was instrumental in organising the event she described as the first of its kind.
“Women here have been through thick and thin, striving to make the best for their families,” Ms Kassas told the Development Authority delegation.
“They have done many things men should have done.”
Women’s challenges range from selling fish, betel nut and other commodities through table markets, the most popular form of small enterprise in this region of Papua New Guinea.
Ms Kassas said her colleagues had longed for an equal playing field to show their potential as equal contributors to nation-building especially in activities that can be supported by the government.
She highly commended the ward development team for making time to receive the document and said she hoped the group will receive a favourable response.
Ward 6 Councillor Simon Sil expressed his appreciation to the delegation for visiting communities in need.
He acknowledged that women in his ward for a long time had wanted to engage in economic and other activities to support their families.
“I’m happy for this structure,” Cr Sil to the women’s ward community development committee structure encompassed in the document.
“Let’s make it happen this time around as previous similar submissions were not successful.”
Sil is optimistic and wants to see change before the national elections next year.
Ward development team leader, Nancy Masu, congratulated the women and assured them their plea for special programs will reach her chairman and Madang MP, Bryan Kramer.
The women’s group is the first to apply for assistance and Ms Masu told them their group is initially likely to benefit from training in such as sewing, book keeping and small enterprise.
In the meantime, Ward 6 is soon to receive a new vehicle as part of Madang District Development Authority ‘s ‘One Vehicle Per Ward’ program.