Sololo Market
March 2019 Social Media Pack Blog

Papua New Guinea is a fascinating and unique country in the tropics. Culturally and environmentally megadiverse, life in Papua New Guinea is not without its daily difficulties.

Olive Basil is a single parent with one child. She lives in Papua New Guinea, a country where two-thirds of women suffer domestic abuse and has been described as ‘one of the most dangerous places in the world to live as a woman’.1

The imbalance in opportunities, income, and power that women across the world face is one of the most serious, and pernicious, global challenges.

Addressing that imbalance requires a step change in unfair and outdated social attitudes. But it also requires progressive legal frameworks and sustainable initiatives that promote equality between women and men.2

In Cool Earth’s Wabumari partnership in Papua New Guinea, a micro-credit scheme is helping balance the books when it comes to women’s access to income. In the K20 challenge, women are given 20 Kina, the equivalent of £5. They are challenged to make a profit and pass the original 20K onto another woman to continue the challenge.

Olive is one of the pioneers of this scheme and it’s making a big difference to her life. Olive used the money to buy a bale of rice, one sack of sugar biscuits to sell in the local market. From these products alone, Olive earned K240. Some of this profit was away in savings. She’s reinvesting the rest to buy more rice and sugar, plus tinned fish, coffee, milk and laundry soap. After just a few weeks, Olive has K100 in her savings account, and has passed K20 to the next challenge participant.

Olive Basil next to products in her shop Olive Basil and her shop
Blog Olive's shop price list


It’s not just a day-to-day income. The best thing about schemes like this is the resilience it gives women so they can manage their finances long-term and plan their future.

Promoting gender equality doesn’t just bring economic benefits. Addressing imbalance has potentially vast environmental and ecological benefits too.

Islands in the tropics are disproportionately impacted by climate change and related extreme weather events.3 A fact not lost on Papua New Guinea which is already facing the impacts of sea level rise.

Empowering women to be equal economic agents increases the resilience of vulnerable communities as a whole. It means more money for emergencies and better financial planning skills – vital parts of any climate resilience strategy.

On International Women’s Day, #BalanceForBetter is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world. Cool Earth knows that effective conservation isn’t possible without putting women’s rights first.

By supporting Cool Earth, smart businesses are not only protecting at risk rainforest, they’re making the future more balanced, for everyone.

© Cool Earth 2019 | Site by Venn Creative

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