Morobe women upskilled in financial literacy

Women empowerment is taking another step forward in Morobe Province through a micro-credit awareness training.

Under the brand ‘Women's Federation for World Peace’, the Morobe chapter gathered on Monday morning to open the highly anticipated event.

Dressed in their provincial colours of green, yellow and blue, the women welcomed the PNG State chapter president, Betty Kaim, the Jiwaka chapter and guest speaker, chief inspector Pauline Siaguru.

Speaking at the Our Saviour’s Chapel in Lae, Kaim said from just a small group, she now boasts a membership of over 280, where 271 of them are from Morobe while 16 are from Jiwaka.

This also means that of all the island state members, PNG has the largest membership.

This goes to show that PNG women want change in their lives, and the Pasifika Micro-Credit Program, a benefit of the Federation, aims to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to level the playing field.

Kaim highlighted the unequal distribution of power when it comes to running a family business, where the men get all the money and make most – if not all – of the decisions even though the matron of the house is listed as a director of the SME.

“Maybe mama na papa tupla wantem statim displa kampani bat taim tupla wokim igo na, mama em sain bat neim darekta on the company (only), the cheque book is signed by papa,” she stated. “Na VX em driven by papa ya, everything else em papa em wokim na mama em trangu.

“I can see 90 percent lo bisnis blo ol Papua Niu Gini, papa em kontrol na mama yumi second-class.

“So disla trangu mama em i silently, she’s suffering stress and anxiety lo het blo em bat em ino tokaut lo ba yumi save na planti mama ol i dai tu lo disla ol wari. So yumi tingting olsem how can we balance that?”

A businesswoman herself and a recipient of the Westpac Women in Business award 2007, Kaim raised her hand to lead the PNG chapter in a gathering in Palau in December 2019.

The Pasifika Micro-Credit Program, which was launched in PNG in January 2020, is a project established by the Women's Federation for World Peace Australia to support women in the island nations of Oceania.

The micro-credit awareness will run from Wednesday to Thursday, while the program will close on Friday.

The women will be taught the philosophy of the project along with the basic elements of running a micro-business using a mix of group discussions, worksheets and presentations.

Carmella Gware