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Gender in Road Construction: Experience in the Papua New Guinea Highlands

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1105031, PP. 1-19

Keywords: Papua New Guinea, Highland Region, Gender, Road Construction

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Abstract:

This article presents experiences in engaging women in road construction work in Papua New Guinea (PNG) Highlands. Providing labour for road construction is a new experience and a demand for tribal women in the highlands region. Women have never before worked on paid road con-struction works. However, similar to men, women also need cash to pay for goods purchased for the household. Although several road construction activities are in progress in a number of Pacific countries including PNG, there is less evidence reported on the engagement of women. This article initially begins a discussion on gender role in a patriarchy society and gender engagement in road construction program. The article highlights the need for and the process of getting women engaged in road construction works. Women engagement in road construction has been zero in the early years of road construction program which has been increased to 13% of the work force in late 2017. This massive increase is attributable to various strategies adopted by the project staff. The women’s new role in road construction, benefits accrued to both men and women and, recommendation to increase women participation in road construction is discussed. The paper is based mainly on the extensive knowledge gained by the author in working on road construction projects in the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Highlands. Where possible, the findings are supported by previous research.

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