PNG and Fiji commit to making public transportation safer for women and girls

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During a learning exchange visit to Fiji last week, the PNG Road Traffic Authority and the Fiji Land Transport Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding for an ongoing and close partnership. This will enable Fiji Land Transport Authority to share its expertise and provide technical support to the newly established PNG Road Traffic Authority in the areas of licensing, vehicle registration, road safety, fee collection and safe public transport services.

The learning exchange facilitated by UN Women Safe Public Transport Programme through funding support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade enabled senior management of PNG Road Traffic Authority to learn about the Fiji Land Transport Authority well integrated transport management and operational systems which are very user friendly and offer a way forward to improve PNGs transport systems which will benefit the public. One important achievement was the common agreed objective to promote gender equality in transport to improve service delivery and safety for all.

The chairperson for PNG Road Traffic Authority Mr. Melvin Yalapan remarked, “We do not have to look far when we have a model an institution in the Pacific where we can learn from. Our Fiji counterparts are well established and have set a benchmark for PNG Road Transport Authority to learn from and develop our systems”.

Chairman of the Fiji Land Transport Authority Board Vijay Maharaj added that Fiji has adapted strong well organised and very modern systems from Australia, New Zealand and Singapore in order to improve Fiji’s transport systems. He said that Fiji is honoured to share these learning with RTA PNG.

UN Women PNG gender specialist Bessie Maruia noted that UN Women is confident that PNG transport will advance significantly after this exchange with our Fiji partners .PNG will use Fiji’s vast experience with modernising transport and incorporate a more user friendly perspective into PNG’s transport policies, and operations. “In Fiji, women and girls travel safely in clean and well-regulated public transport. This learning will benefit women and girls who experience all sorts of difficulties using a largely unregulated transport system in PNG. Women are subject to crowded buses and haphazard PMV operations and PMVs are often dirty and dangerous. “said Ms. Maruia.

UN Women also recognizes the underrepresentation of women in the transport sector and will continue to advocate for women’s active participation in decision making processes. She added, “It’s all about making transport more efficient. Why can’t we have well developed bus stops free from crime and have PMVs that operate safely? More women would use public transport and thus economic growth would occur. Transport needs to be more user friendly and Fiji sets a very good example for us to follow.”

Media enquiries should be directed to:
Ms. Bessie Maruia – Programme Specialist, UN Women. Email: bessie.maruia@unwomen.org

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