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Masono: Women active players in the independence mission

THE MEMBER REPRESENTING THE WOMEN FOR NORTH HON. AMANDA MASONO GETSI’s message on the International Women’s Day global theme: “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.”



Bougainville’s journey to self-determination is a process where women have become active players. In the peace and restoration phase we congratulate and celebrate the brave at heart who fought for peace to prevail in our region. Some have passed on, some still continue to advocate for human rights and equal participation for women in all aspects of life. We commend them for paving the path for the women of today and hold them with high respect. Also for this year, I wish to extend my gratitude and celebrate our women of today! When I say women of today, I’m referring to the Bougainville women who rose up during the restoration to the referendum phase and now are actively involved in the nation-building phase of our political journey. While I acknowledge all women involved in this phase, I want to make a special mention of the PNG and Bougainvillean women who lead international, local NGOs and CBOs that support the government delivery of goods and services to the rural communities in Bougainville. This category also includes the women who spearhead the process of nation building and state building working within the Autonomous Bougainville Government departments and in the community governments. Women who stand in the gap and say to themselves, “if I don’t do it, who else will”. That is the kind of passion and loyalty to serve with a vision to see a better future for our children of Bougainville. These are the women who contribute to policy development right down to delivery of the implementation of such policies. These are the strong women their sacrifices are often forgotten and go unnoticed by leadership. These are the women worth congratulating and celebrating this International Women’s Day. I take my head off and salute them for their loyalty and commitment to Bougainville past, present and future. Their lives are testimonies of service to the people of Bougainville. Each has different stories to tell yet they all paint one picture of Bougainville becoming a prosperous and peaceful place in the Pacific.


How can women empower each other? Generally, people say that women do not get along. This is in some sense true. Because we are too busy hating on and gossiping about the other woman rather than working on ourselves. But if we learn to understand that just because the other woman got the position instead of you, just because the other woman got the promotion instead of you, just because your partner chose the other woman instead of you, does not mean that you are less worthy or valuable. It means that God has anointed her for that season instead of you and that God has something else reserved for you with your name on it. When we understand this, we begin to accept, embrace and empower each other. I believe that God is not a man that he should lie about what he has in store for each one of us. We must learn to accept the other woman’s success and all work toward supporting her to be the best version of herself. Just like when it is your season, the other woman should support you to be the best version of yourself.

We should not envy or be jealous of the other woman. We should be celebrating her understanding that if it’s meant for you it will come. Wait for what God has reserved for you because it has your name tag on it and will come to pass when it is your time. When we understand that there is enough for everyone in God’s Kingdom, we build each other and empower each other by mentoring or mentioning the other woman’s name in board meetings or to that recruitment firm or to your Boss for her opportunity to shine!

  • How we can reach out to other women in the north region

Funding has been a major challenge for the government to reach out to other women in North Bougainville because of its geographical and cultural diversity. The ABG needsto develop policies that enhance mobilization and empowerment of women in all aspects of life for example, Women in health, Women in education, Women in Business, Women in Industries etc. It is only through mobilizing and empowering women that we are able to reach out to all women.

  • What we can do to stay motivated as a women having a voice in the community

One of my best quote is: Serve your way Up! This is one way but quite powerful for women to be motivated as being a voice in the community. Being a voice does not necessarily mean that you have to be a strong advocate of something that you believe in but also it has to do with your random acts of kindness to the people that look up to you. One does not become a leader overnight! Just like the quote: Rome was not built overnight. You must obviously be involved in building your people and community. It does not matter how little your contribution to the community may be, if you do it as a service to the people and for the common good, blessing will follow you!



Finally in this year’s celebration of IWD, we remember Bougainville women, particularly in the Atolls and the small island nation states of the Pacific and the small island nation states of the Pacific and around the world who are fighting against the impacts of climate change. They are the most vulnerable group of women who have to rise and fight against natural disasters like tsunami, tidal waves, volcanic eruptions and king tides. In Bougainville, they use local knowledge to adapt to the changing conditions of the environment and mitigate the impacts on their families with minimal assistance from the governments. Food insecurity is at the heart of being a woman’s number one rival because it affects the wellbeing of the whole family. It silently slows down a child’s development/growth and contributes to a decrease in the family’s output. The women suffer a silent war fighting against food insecurity because they are the ones who have to prepare food for families. In a subsistence setting, food productions begins with planting, nurturing and finally harvesting. This is part of most rural women’s responsibility in ensuring that families are sustained and have enough food to eat. When the small farmlands are flooded by Kind tides it affects food crops contributing to poor yield that is unable to sustain families. It is the women who suffer the full brunt of climate change.

Today we celebrate them for their bravery and hope the government’s around the world realize the struggle they have to go through and develop climate change policies that are inclusive and gender sensitive for women in climate change.

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