Women make up majority of unbanked PNG population

It has been pointed out that the majority of PNG’s unbanked population is made up of women, especially in rural and urban settlement communities.

While it’s a different reason for each individual, the common reason stands as financial illiteracy and long bank processes.

Arua Ginate, from Port Moresby’s largest coastal village, Hanuabada, expressed her thoughts on this during a recent graduation from a basic financial literacy course.

Arua, 65, is a pioneer participant of the Givim Han Long Laip Projek rolled out by Women in Business this year.

She has an informal market set-up in the village where she sells biscuits and drinks to sustain herself. However, this is not the reason for her participation.

Arua undertook the program as a refresher course so that she could then impart the skills to other women in the village.

She is part of the women’s fellowship at Lakani Toi Memorial Church that also delivers similar basic courses to help women in book keeping and financial management, among others.

While she calls such courses “a privilege”, she says women, especially the young, are still unbanked and not familiar with the savings culture.

She said many of them despite, leaving school at Grade 9 or 10, don’t know how to save money.

Others, she say, have a fair idea, but just hate the long process of banks.

“Sometimes, women don’t go to the bank. It’s very hard especially, because at the bank, they ask for too many identifications,” she said.

Arua thanks PNG Women in Business and the facilitators for the course, but more importantly, for bringing the bank out to the women.

“Coming down to the grass root level is an opportunity so women can save a little and spend some for themselves,” Arua added.

PNG WIB, while rolling out the project through as many communities in Port Moresby as it can, also used this opportunity to allow participants to bank through the Women’s Micro Bank.

Gloria Bauai