Ambassador for Women and Girls Natasha Stott Despoja has launched new initiatives to advance gender equality in Papua New Guinea.
Ms Stott Despoja visited Port Moresby from 13-15 November 2016 to launch the initiatives to advance women's empowerment in cooperation with Papua New Guinea and the United States of America.
The United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, Catherine M. Russell, joined Ms Stott Despoja in announcing a Memorandum of Cooperation concerning Gender Equality within Sports between Papua New Guinea, Australia and the United States.
Signed at the commencement of the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup in Port Moresby, the Memorandum is a commitment to tackling barriers – such as a lack of safe places to play – at all levels for women and girls to participate in sport in Papua New Guinea.
Papua New Guinea, Australia and the United States will work together on policies and sports programs that demonstrate women's leadership and sporting capacity.
Ms Stott Despoja launched a jointly supported Women's Business Resource Centre and met with business leaders to learn more about the challenges Papua New Guinean women face in doing business.
Ms Stott Despoja also helped to open a film festival featuring social justice films about women in Papua New Guinea, produced through both Australian and United States support.
The Australian Government recognises that gender equality and women's empowerment are essential to Papua New Guinea's economic and human development and are critical cross-cutting issues for Australia's engagement in Papua New Guinea.
Australia's aid partnership arrangement with Papua New Guinea commits both governments to work together to promote gender equality and women's empowerment and increase efforts to address Family and Sexual Violence in Papua New Guinea.