ABG President Dr John Momis made this statement in commemoration of International Women’s Day.
“The traditional role of women in most parts of Bougainville has always been custodians of the land, providing a safety net to society and keepers of the peace, this role has not changed; women still play a vital role in contemporary Bougainville today,” Momis said.
“I am also proud to say today that a new role that Bougainville women have assumed is one that has redefined their roles in Bougainville and that is of peace maker.”
Through the sheer will and determination of brave Bougainville women, who stood up and called for peace during the bloody war on Bougainville, an ensuing cease fire and eventual peace followed.
Through the negotiations for the peace on Bougainville to the formative years of the “The ABG recognises women as important stakeholders and that is why our policies have always encouraged equal participation of women in important decisions that affect Bougainville’s future,” Momis said.
The most important step that the ABG has made in fostering women’s parity in Bougainville was the creation of the three regional women’s seats in the Bougainville House of Representatives.
Apart from the equal opportunity to contest the constituency seats, Bougainville women still have a guaranteed voice and representation in the ABG through these three reserved seats for women in the house.
“I congratulate the women of Bougainville for their tireless efforts in Bougainville not just as mothers but also as leaders,” he said.
“Their continued efforts must be lauded as we strive to create a new socio-economic political order that is free from oppression and subjugation of ones creed or gender orientation.
“I also challenge the women of Bougainville to take heed of this year’s International Women’s Day theme, ‘Be Bold for Change’, as we embark on this very important journey to our ultimate political future.”
He said women must now be the catalyst that encourages unity, unity that starts from the home and flows out to society as a whole.
“Bougainville must no longer be a place where men and women are considered separately, there are no longer men nor women but only a people, a united people of Bougainville is what we must now project,” urged Momis.