In Papua New Guinea (PNG), women dominate market vending and informal street trade economies. As it stands, women vendors in these spaces endure multiple forms of gender based discrimination, unsafe working conditions and extortion.
PNG’s Informal Economy Act (2011) intends to stimulate marketplaces and street trade economies, recognizing that these areas are critical for livelihoods across the country. Through this act, women vendors stand to see significant social and economic empowerment.
The Act requires provincial and local governments to build the capacities of vendors in informal economies, but roll-out of the program has been slow. Both vendors and government actors are in need of training and tools to support implementation of this policy, participatory governance and constructive dialogue.
Pacific Peoples’ Partnership, in collaboration with HELP Resources and Voice for Change, is providing targeted training on informal economy law; building databases to monitor implementation of the Act; providing assistance to strengthen engagement between local government and vendors; and providing technical assistance to establish and sustain participatory governance structures related to the informal economy.
HELP-Resources has visually documented the main Wewak market for a decade, knows its political and economic history, physical, political, social and economic challenges and potential. HELP-R has a strong track record in quality research, capacity and knowledge building and project design and delivery and is recognised nationally and regionally for domestication/localisation of national and global law, development commitments and frameworks. It’s founding Director (now Technical adviser) has researched markets across Melanesia and designed successful UNWomen market projects for Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
This project is funded by the Commonwealth Foundation.