The Academy is a partnership between UN Women and the Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance (PILAG). Dame Carol encouraged women to work with men as allies as they seek to advance their political careers.
“Let men be your allies on gender equality issues. It is important to see our male counterparts as partners in development. We should work with men. If you find one opposing your ideas on gender equality, walk to another one and get him to see and understand your view,” she Dame Carol.
The 19 women, representing 11 different provinces, were in Port Moresby for their third training on communications as part of the Academy, during which, they connected with their mentors who will provide one-on-one mentoring support.
Thirteen mentors, including three men, consisting of former and current politicians and political party leaders were selected to support the mentorship component of the Political Leadership Academy for Women.
The mentors are Dorothy Tekwie, Timothy Masiu, Charles Abel, Gary Juffa, Theonila Roka Matbob, Geraldine Paul, Amanda Masono, Francesca Semoso, Rose Pehei, Delilah Gore, Julie Soso, Dame Carol and Mea Lou Isaac.
UN Women Country Representative, Themba Kalua on the session’s last day remarked on the composition of the mentors.
“In addition to the female mentors, we have managed to get a few male mentors because partnership and support from male champions is so important for achieving gender equality,” he said.
Kalua thanked the mentors for dedicating their time to mentor sub national female politicians, adding that the arrangement is meant to address gender disparities in political leadership in Papua New Guinea.
“With this kind of arrangement, we shall not continue to say that out of 111 Members of Parliament, there is no single woman and no single female Minister. We express our commitment to the journey that we have embarked on together. We want you succeed so that one day, you will also be mentoring other women,” he said
PILAG Chief Executive Officer, Michael Barobe said the mentorship component compliments the leadership-training women leaders have been receiving since December 2021 and will help them get exposure to political issues and challenges at the national level.
Gabrielle John, Technical Specialist for the Women Make Change Programme, said the women leaders will go through the training until April 2022 and the second cohort of other women leaders will be brought on.
“Mentorship is critical to the success of women’s political journeys. While the first cohort will graduate from the Academy in April, we hope that the mentoring relationships they establish now will continue long into the future.” Gabrielle said.