THE GLOBAL Women in Management (GWIM) program, run by the US-based Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA), will be held in Papua New Guinea for the first time in its 36-year history.

The GWIM program is designed for women working in local non-government organisations, cooperatives, and business women’s associations, as well as for emerging and existing female business leaders and entrepreneurs.

CEDPA, a branch of international development organisation Plan International, will run the event, which aims to strengthen women’s management, leadership and technical skills.

By doing this, the program aims to advance economic opportunities and build the next generation of women working in civil society or for non-profit organisations in PNG.

One of those women, Cathy Alex, who works for the CDI Foundation, said she was proud to have participated in the GWIM program.

“The three-week course gave me useful, practical skills that I was able to bring home with me and put into action,” Ms Alex said.

“Through my involvement and by working with development partners, I helped women in Samberigi open their first vegetable market, as well as women take over leadership positions traditionally occupied by men.

“I whole-heartedly believe in the skills gained through the GWIM training, because it enables participants to be more passionate and contribute meaningfully toward progressively making positive changes.”

The three-week workshop, set to take place from 24 March to 11 April, will bring together 26 women from across the country.

The CEDPA GWIM program is supported by ExxonMobil’s Women’s Economic Opportunity Initiative, launched in 2005 to help women in more than 90 countries fulfill their economic potential and drive economic and social change in their communities.

Since 2006, ExxonMobil has provided support for 23 PNG women to complete the GWIM program.

To date, ExxonMobil has invested more than US$70 million worldwide to help implement programs that have directly benefitted tens of thousands of women.

ExxonMobil PNG project executive Decie Autin said the company was proud to support a program which equipped women leaders with valuable skills.

“I am thrilled that so many women – many of whom are already making a difference in their local communities – will come together to learn new skills and network,” Ms Autin said.

“Over the past four years, we have provided support for local women to participate in this program in Indonesia and Washington, DC, and they have made huge contributions on their return to Papua New Guinea.

“It’s no secret that when you invest in a woman, you are also investing in her family and her community, so programs like GWIM have far-reaching benefits,” she said