Women in Agriculture: Reflections from Papua New Guinea

By: Alma Lance, Gender, Communications and M&E Officer, Grow PNG


In Papua New Guinea, women play a central role in agriculture, yet are challenged by the burden of care and reproductive work within the family and community. Most are generally expected to provide unpaid farm work. As a result, it is challenging for women to access and have control over resources in the different farming communities.


Grow Asia and our Country Partnerships—including Grow PNG—seek to embed a gender-inclusive approach at the farmer level, between partners, and within our own organization as part of Grow Asia’s Gender Mainstreaming strategy.


Achieving gender equality requires coordinated collaboration between many different actors, including policymakers, private sector companies, and civil society. It also requires taking a multidimensional perspective by addressing barriers and challenges that manifest themselves in different forms across various industry sectors and by connecting with other areas of the sustainable development agenda (e.g. health, poverty, education, etc.).


Gender equality will eventuate when gender ideas, concepts and principles are mainstreamed in all aspects of Agriculture and Livestock which includes, farming, aggregation, logistics, sales and marketing, and the associated service industries around agriculture and livestock. It also involves inclusive gender participation in farmer associations, agriculture landowning associations, marketing associations, banking and finance groups, technology groups, cooperative societies and associations, agribusiness (MSME) associations, and management and leadership roles within those associations.


Grow PNG has been supporting its partners’ programs and practices that target the female population in the Markham Valley and provide support for women who depend on agriculture for an income. We help partners improve or enhance their own programs by generating awareness, facilitating knowledge-sharing, training, and sharing tools about gender mainstreaming and inclusion.


Grow PNG piloted a Gender Mainstreaming Training with the support of PNG Women in Agriculture Development Foundation to agricultural landowner associations, farmers cooperatives and smallholder farmer associations.


Whilst cognizant of the deep-rooted cultural diversity and norms of farmers, our focus is to raise awareness and better understanding of gender equality and the impacts of gender inequality, the relationships between men and women in farming, how resources are shared, what activities they do, and the constraints they face relative to each other.


This Training is the first in a series that will be conducted in Grow PNG’s target area, which is the Markham Valley in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea. Grow PNG welcomes collaboration from different sectors in encouraging greater attention by sharing learnings and strategies to advance gender inclusion practices in agriculture development in Papua New Guinea.


To learn more about Grow PNG's work, visit us at growpng.org.



 

This piece was written by Alma Lance - Grow PNG's Gender, Communications and M&E Officer - as part of a wider series of resources and reflections Grow Asia is consolidating around International Women's Day. To learn more, follow and explore our LinkedIn page.

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