Supporting gender equality in developing countries

Divine Word University played host to two high profile Australian leaders, Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP and Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells on Wednesday 8th of March, 2017.

The two Australian Ministers and accompanied by Australian High Commission to PNG His Excellency Bruce Davis visited the DWU Campus in Madang and met the University President Professor Cecilia Nembou and young women students enrolled in the following undergraduate degree programs in medicine and health sciences plus mathematics and computing science and information systems.

The two Australian Ministers were in Madang for the 25th Australia-PNG Leadership Dialogue Forum. The following is the Joint media release by two Australian Ministers after their visit to DWU Campus:

Today (Wednesday (8th March, 2017) we mark International Women's Day and reaffirm the importance of women's empowerment as a driver of economic growth and prosperity. 

We celebrate with young women students at Divine Word University, one of Papua New Guinea's leading universities. These young women are forging a new path for women in non-traditional subjects of science, technology, and engineering and are building skills for Papua New Guinea's future economic and social prosperity.

We announce today that six Australian non-government organisations (NGOs) will receive Gender Action Platform (GAP) grants totalling $10 million to promote the rights of women and girls in 12 developing countries.

Childfund Australia, Marie Stopes International Australia and World Vision Australia will deliver GAP projects in Papua New Guinea. These projects will help support equal opportunities for Papua New Guineans and work towards achieving lives free from violence. In addition, Act for Peace, ActionAid Australia and CARE Australia will also deliver GAP projects in other countries in the Indo-Pacific.

Launched in September 2016, GAP provides grants to Australian NGOs accredited under the Australian NGO Cooperation Program. Grants are awarded to innovative projects that work to increase women's economic opportunities, improve women's participation in leadership, and reduce gender-based violence, in accordance with national laws.

GAP complements other new initiatives funded under the Government's $55 million Gender Equality Fund and Australia's flagship program, Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development.

Australia is committed to working in partnership with Papua New Guinea and Australian NGOs to advance women's empowerment in our region and ensure we remain a global leader in the promotion of gender equality. Further information on the successful projects can be found on the DFAT website. Media Release supplied by the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby.