A survey is being carried out of young women on Bougainville as part of a young women’s leadership programme.
The project is being undertaken by the Bougainville Women’s Federation and is trying to gauge why young women aren’t showing an interest in getting involved in women’s organisations and leadership roles.
President of the Bougainville Women’s Federation, Hona Holan (pictured above) , told Jamie Tahana the project is mainly to find out young women’s interests, and the barriers that keep them from getting involved.
HONA HOLAN: We are coming together tomorrow to look at the results of the survey. By tomorrow we should put together the results. The survey was done by the young women of Bougainville with their siblings at the age of 18 to 35.
JAMIE TAHANA: Tell me a bit about this survey. You’ve surveyed how many young women of Bougainville and what did you ask them?
HH: The questions were on if they know about Bougainville Women’s Federation. If they work with other NGOs or church groups and if they are not involved with groups, what are their problems, what are their issues.
JT: Okay. And so this is to address a lack of women in leadership roles in Bougainville is it?
HH: That’s right. This Bougainville Women’s Federation, it’s looking at building the capacity of young women to be leaders of tomorrow. Like making space for them so that we mentor them and they can take our place when we move out of the leadership.
JT: Why do you think that is? That there aren’t so many women in leadership roles. What are the barriers here?
HH: Maybe the barriers are, young women are not interested in activities that we put out. Some questions that also went out to them is what are their interests or how we can get put their interests over so they can join in.
JT: Why is there no interest?
HH: We asked some of the questions around that and the young women were telling us that we are not giving them space. The older women, the mature women, are not giving them space, so that is what we found out from our survey.
JT: Once you get these results, what are you going to do from there?
HH: We are going to share it with the ABG and partners, like development partners, and then we can develop activities to affect, like building capacity and so on, we need to develop activities. It’s not easy because Bougainville Women’s Federation, we don’t have funding and it’s not easy so we need to share the results with other NGOs and the government of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea so we can all see what the young women are interested in. Some of the results are they need education, they need to further their education.
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