The Pursuit of Independence


In the lead up to the 2020 referendum in Bougainville, there is an assumption that political efforts should be driven by men in politics from Papua New Guinea and focussed on achieving independence – pushing women in parliament aside.

The widespread belief that politics is men’s work continues to direct negative attitudes towards women in leadership, particularly at a time of transformative change. In response to the increasing presence and visibility of women in parliament, there is also increasing resistance to women in positions of power.

According to reports from Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women program partner’s Bougainville Women’s Federation, misinformation is being dispersed, mostly in rural areas, that is encouraging the belief that women should not be in leadership positions at this time. This is how influential community elders are responding to the perceived threat of women in leadership. IWDA and Bougainville Women’s Federation continue to support these women to maintain and drive further progress in the region.