UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security. The UN Women Papua New Guinea Country Office has four main thematic areas: • Ending Violence against Women (EVAW); • Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE); • Women Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action; and • Governance and participation in public life.
Under its WEE Portfolio, UN Women has been working in Papua New Guinea to improve the lives women who work in the Informal Economy. This is done specifically through our support to improving markets in PNG. In 2018, UN Women supported the Government of PNG to complete a National Audit of the Informal Economy to understand the scale and breadth of the sector. The audit revealed that the sector contributes up to 12 billion PNG Kina per annum towards the national GDP. Despite its scale and importance, it was often unregulated and a volatile space with several barriers for those who operate in that space. Women who worked in the informal economy experienced various compounding barriers.
Based on the funding, UN Women and the EU are providing technical support and capacity building to the Government of PNG to review and revise the existing Informal Economy Policy and to enable improve rights of Informal Economy Workers through the validation of a Voice Strategy. This work is ongoing and regional workshops are planned for the later part of this year and next year to enable validation of the Audit funding and consultation for the revision of the Policy.