Posted by Shirley Kaupa
on 20 September 2019
Shirley Kaupa, Volunteer Program Coordinator, for Magna Carta PNG Incorporated (MCPNGI) joined Melinda Maro on 'Radio Maria Talk Back Show' to discuss "Women's Issues in Papua New Guinea".
BRIEFLY EXPLAIN THE PHRASE 'EMPOWERING WOMEN, ADVANCING WOMEN IN EDUCATION'
I believe there are five types of empowerment; however today I am focusing on Education specifically, empowering women in Education.
Before I start my interview, I would like to take this time to thank the De La Salle Brothers for having the trust in me. I am a living example of empowering and advancing women in education. I can humbly say that the De La Salle Brothers have played a vital/pivotal role to empower me to be the person I am today. The Brothers have never given up on me, and I am so blessed to have them. I also extend my thanks to those that have crossed my path to date.
Empowerment to me; is counted in many things from the highest to the lowest, paying school fees to pray together, sharing a plate of food, attending short seminars, sports group etc.
I hope this little graph explains my thoughts:
No empowerment, No Advancement', No Gender Participation in Workforce = Inequality in Participation.
Empowering women in education: The definition of the word empowering, or empowerment is "Power given to someone to do something, or also it's a process to become stronger and more confident in controlling one's life and claiming one's right."
Individuals are given empowerment to create their own dwellings.
The term empowerment can also refer "to the measures designed to increase the degree (point) of autonomy (self-govern) and self-determination in people and in communities in order to enable them to represent their interest in a responsible and self-determined way, acting on their own right"
This empowerment may come in many different forms. Both genders must be included in empowerment. Men, Boys, Women and Girls play an important role in one's development. It can be:
Physical / Resources, e.g. money, clothes, school fees, school materials, security to support a girl or young woman to achieve her education dream.
Social Psychological support, e.g. counselling and mentoring or providing advice on the right courses to take
Spiritual Guidance: Praying with / strengthening the Ecclesiast community through prayer Faith, Service and Community. Empower young women and girls in a way they see humanity in every aspect of life.
Teaching and advocating on moral values and social justice (human rights) are the fundamental aspects of human dignity, and one cannot avoid so easily. In order for one to be humane is to abide by the rules and norms of life.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES/BENEFITS OF FURTHERING WOMEN IN EDUCATION?
IN Papua New Guinea, a lot of people do not have this heart of 'giving back for free or doing the same thing to others.
There are many approaches to giving back to family, society, community and the Nation, E.g., I do little work for a living; however, I engaged in much volunteer work (FSC activities). The more volunteer works you from your heart is to contribute without fear, favour or request by anyone. Individuals can be a catalyst or agent of change in their respective communities.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF DECLINING NUMBER OF FEMALES ATTENDING SCHOOL?
The social/economic circumstance are causes for many calamities surrounding individual life. The four main causes:
Resources: family support (financially and physically),
Social Problems: Broken homes / family issues, forced marriages / teenage pregnancies, drug and Alcohol abuse, Technology etc.,
Education/Welfare: Lack of guidance and/or counselling,
Cultural Barriers: Femineity and masculinity does exist, boys are given priority, Chiefly Culture
HOW CAN WE ADDRESS THIS ISSUE? ARE THERE ANY SERVICE PROVIDERS/RESOURCE CENTRES THAT WOMEN/GIRLS CAN GO TO, TOO SEEK ASSISTANCE?
Such issues can be addressed in many different ways, for example:
20 days of human rights Activism ( 25th November, IWD CEDAW )
Human Rights Film Festival (17th - 20th October, Pom Arts Theatre )
Organise debates in schools, youth groups or church. Peaceful march and submissions to the rightful Authority.
Educated women and girls should empower others in their villages through camps, meetings, sports during Christmas or some other holidays.
Authorities in charge like National Council of Women, UN Women, and COMM DEV Women's Desk can provide IEC materials for empowerment.
Schools can also arrange an empowerment program for girls. A good example would be the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant (MPIP) Dinner. All proceeds go to 'Sponsor a Girl Program'. MPIP has annually sponsored a couple of girls to La Salle Technical College Hohola and Sacred Hearts Teachers College Bomana and many others throughout PNG. If only the working-class women can give generously to empower other women in education by buying a seat at the dinner table.
Shop at City Pharmacy to support 'Educate a Woman, Educate a Nation Promotion.'
Please like Magna Carta Page on Facebook, we have the Human Rights Film Festival, free of charge at MAT and 20 Days of Human rights Activism coming up. Go Like 20 DHRA and HRFF on Facebook.