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Minister Swire discusses gender issues with university students

UK State Minister Hugo Swire participates in open forum to discuss gender issues with students from the University of Papua New Guinea.

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Minister of State Hugo Swire and British High Commissioner Jackie Barson
Minister of State Hugo Swire and British High Commissioner Jackie Barson

Visiting Minister of State for the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, The Right Honourable Hugo Swire MP took part in an open Forum on gender issues at niversity of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) with students and NGOs on 18 April. The event was moderated by Justice Cathrine Davani and opened with a five minute video from the Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of St. Andrews, in the United Kingdom.

Discrimination and violence against women and girls remains one of the most widespread human rights abuses. Tackling this issue is a priority for the UK and central to our work to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Women and girls should have the power to shape their lives and control the decisions that affect them. Women’s equal participation as politicians, leaders and decision-makers is a fundamental prerequisite for gender equality and genuine democracy. Increasing women’s political participation gives voice to a marginalised section of society, creates women role models, leads to legislative change and policies that tackle gender inequalities and discrimination, and includes women as equal partners in shaping the future of their country.

The Centre for Pacific Studies is a research centre at the University of St. Andrews headed by Dr. Tony Crook. Dr. Crook is an anthropologist who was in Papua New Guinea in 1989 when he lived for 4 years and conducted research in a village in the Western Province just outside Tabubil. The Centre For Pacific Studies and St. Andrews University will hold a workshop on the 19 April at St. Andrews University; “Rethinking Gender in the Pacific”. The Workshop aims to unpick the thinking behind current gender policies in the Pacific, aligning it with real life practices and challenges.

Further Information

For further information, please contact Kila Kome at the British High Commission on:

Telephone: 325 1677 (extension: 2210)
Fax: 325 3547

Follow Hugo Swire on Twitter @HugoSwire

Follow Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire’s visit to the South Pacific on Storify

Published 22 April 2013