IWDA’s Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade inquiry into the delivery and effectiveness of Australia’s bilateral aid program in Papua New Guinea (April 2015).

On 4 December 2014 the Senate referred the following matter to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee for inquiry and report: The delivery and effectiveness of Australia‘s bilateral aid program in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The Terms of Reference make particular reference to supporting inclusive development by investing in good governance, health and education, law and justice, and women’s empowerment.

The Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade tabled its report on 12 May 2016.

IWDA has worked in PNG since its establishment in 1985 and currently partners with women’s organisations in three Provinces – Eastern Highlands, Jiwaka and East New Britain – and in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville to advance the rights of women and promote gender equality.

IWDA’s submission to this Inquiry discusses Australia’s ability to reduce ongoing human rights violations and structural impediments to PNG’s social, political and economic development by addressing the country’s persistent, profound, and widespread gender inequality. Australia’s bilateral aid program must recognise women’s diverse situations and challenges, enabling women’s participation and involvement across all decision-making.

In its submission, IWDA recommends that the Australian Government:

  • Develops a cohesive, comprehensive gender strategy for Australia’s aid using local expertise – in consultation with Papua New Guinean women, men, and organisations representing their interests and concerns – with consistent and systematic integration of gender analysis in policy and programming.
  • Acknowledges the diversity of women and girls, making gender disparity visible in assessing poverty and development progress using the Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM) system.
  • Conducts gender analysis to assess potential risks, as well as potential opportunities that arise in relation to gender, and outlines frameworks for policy development, programming, implementation and evaluation accordingly.
  • Develops and implements specific gender mainstreaming targets for all programs and initiatives, accompanied with detailed guidance and support, and reports against these in annual performance reporting.
  • Tracks and publicly reports expenditure on gender equality and women’s rights.
  • Incorporates the reduction of violence against women as a key element of all programs, addressing the gaps in service provision and expanding community-based responses, particularly in rural and remote communities.
  • Links economic development objectives to gender equality outcomes.
  • Continues investment in the subsistence, informal and formal sectors of the economy and strengthens opportunities for women in each, addressing barriers to women taking up formal employment.

Read the full submission here.