Pacific women in Businness launch website
It is a new website funded by the Government of Australia.
The website was launched last Friday in Port Moresby by Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
Ms Bishop said women in the Pacific form a large group and are key drivers of their respective economies, but added also that there was a downside as well.
"Despite that entrepreneurial spirit and despite that enterprising culture, too many of these women don’t have control over their finances, they don’t have the financial autonomy or independence and therefore they cannot invest in their future, protect their savings, and control their businesses.
"The markets exemplify the issue more broadly and it’s been a matter that has been of concern to me because we are committed to the economic empowerment of women in Australia, in PNG, across our region.
"The barriers to financial independence are real in that they are preventing women from taking broader roles in society, in the economy, across the communities more generally."
She stated that as part of their overseas development assistance program with PNG and other nations in the Pacific, they are working at putting in place programs and initiatives that will empower women and make them take leadership roles in their families, communities and the country.
She said Westpac, in collaboration with the Australian High Commission, has seen that there is a need to boosting financial inclusion nationally, especially for the women and hence they came up with the idea of this new website.
"That’s why I’m here tonight to launch our website, Pacific Women in Business -www.pacificwomeninbusiness.com.au - and this is a portal for information to share with women across our region who will be able to network online, connect with each other, find information, find details, be able to have discussions about what is needed, what we can offer, and in this way it doesn’t matter where women are located, as long as they’ve got access to some kind of technology that allows them to log on," she said.