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PNG, Australia and USA sign historic partnership agreement

PAPUA New Guinea, Australia and the United States have signed a historic partnership to work through sport to promote gender equality and end violence against women and men, girls and boys in PNG.

Signed on the eve of the FIFA Under 20 Women’s World Cup in Port Moresby, the partnership commits the three nations to work together at the community and elite level to change attitudes, tear down barriers through participation and demonstrate women’s leadership in sport.

Minister for sports, national events and APEC 2018, Justin Tkatchenko, Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls Natasha Stott Despoja and the USA’s Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell, signed the ‘Memorandum of Cooperation Concerning Gender Equality in Sport’ at the PNG National Library last Sunday.

Ms Despoja said Sport reaches millions of people.

“Events like the FIFA Under 20 Women’s World Cup currently hosted in Papua New Guinea, through to grassroots sport development programs, show the power of sport as a vehicle to deliver messages to men, women, boys and girls.

“This memorandum recognises that more needs to be done to get women and girls onto the sporting field and to highlight their skills and leadership,” she said.

“It is my honour to be here today to help launch an exciting new partnership to harness the power of sport to prevent violence against women and promote equality between women and men, girls and boys,” Ms  Despoja said.

Ms Russell shared similar sentiments saying the partnership was an important opportunity to bring PNG, the USA and Australia closer together in promoting gender equality and ending violence against women.

“We know violence against women is a problem that needs to be tackled through prevention; through changing the attitudes and behaviours that lead to women being treated as less important than men.

"This historic agreement recognises the tremendous potential of sport to empower women and girls, challenge gender stereotypes, improve self-esteem and develop leadership skills,” Ms Russell said.

The memorandum provides the framework for a lasting collaboration between the Governments of PNG, Australia and the USA to develop and deliver policies and programs that use sports to advocate for gender equality, including ending violence to improve outcomes for women and girls and the community.
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