Archive for July, 2007

With the returning of the Writs being deferred to next week and almost all except 6 of the 109 seats yet to be declared, many of the people are in celebration mode of their candidates either retaining thier seats or wining their respective electorates seat. The saddest results of all is that Papua New Guinea may have yet again only one women in the Parliament in the form of Dame Carol Kidu.

 

In a society where men turms to be the decision makers and women plays a very important and unnoticed background role in the community, women have always wanted their voice and pleas to equality to be heard. Times are changing fast and womens’ role in the society are also important as to a man. Women wants to be counted as equal to a man and effect their rights as stipulated in the UN conventions.

Nearly 100 women stood for election and it may be only one that returns to fight for them. Dame Carol Kidu, member for Moresby South electorate and Minister for Welfare and Social Development retains her seat after a very close contest with the Happy Gardener Justin T’kachenko who is now not so happy anymore. Dame Carol Kidu’s win is the result of her hard work in setting policy framework that targets women, youths and most especially children in Papua New Guinea. Her  election victory is their victory. “now it time for implementation. Five years of policy making is over, now we will implement the policies” – Dame Carol Kidu

So what is the X-factor that is making women not getting  voted into the Parliament? My assessment of women not getting elected is because most women still do not know how to win votes. Their campaigning styles and techinques is all wrong. Here is an example of wrong campagn speeches; ‘votim mi, mi gutpela mama na mi gat 6pela pikinini. Mi lukautim gud ol pikinini blo mi, sopos yu votim mi, mi bai lukautim yu tu olsem mi lukautim pikinini blo mi’

And there are more campaign speeches thats centers around themselves and how good their motherhood is. That’s all wrong, you’ll never win an election with these. If women are to win elections…they need to start looking at the bigger picture and campaign on policy issues and how it will help thier electorate.

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Got this on the web today

Rebel love transforms schoolgirl into Dame

Monday Aug 27 12:46 AEST

The Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire is taking a nap on the wooden floor of a house on stilts over the Coral Sea, oblivious to the election-day buzz around her. It’s a brief rest-stop on an odyssey that has taken Dame Carol Kidu from a childhood as an “ordinary Aussie girl” to a life where she is as comfortable dining with royalty as eating from a Papua New Guinea cooking pot. 

The petite 58-year-old opens an eye at the sound of her name, grimaces at the sight of a camera, but graciously gets to her feet and applies a quick dash of lipstick in a small mirror hanging on the bare wooden wall. The original family home in Pari village on the beach south of the capital Port Moresby is doubling as campaign headquarters for Kidu’s re-election fight for her seat as the only female member of Papua New Guinea’s parliament. “People thought I was crazy — the diplomatic circles thought I was absolutely mad — to think that a white woman could win in politics here, but I knew I could,” she says, settling into a chair on a cool verandah.

Coconut palms sway in the breeze, smoke drifts from a cooking fire producing meals for her campaign staff, children laugh as they play football on the beach — and a fierce light shines suddenly in Kidu’s eyes.“From the day my husband died, I had this obsession that I was going to stand for politics. I was a very angry woman because his death was attributed to the way he had been treated politically.”Kidu’s love for her husband was the controversial starting point for her remarkable journey. 

Carol Millwater was a 16-year-old teenager when she met and fell in love with Buri Kidu, descendant of Papua New Guinean warriors, at a holiday camp on Australia’s Gold Coast near her suburban home in Brisbane. Kidu was attending the nearby Toowoomba Grammar School on a colonial scholarship from PNG, a tropical outpost off Australia’s northeast coast where some tribes had their first contact with the outside world in the 1930s. 

Romance blossomed, recalls the small woman with windblown fair hair above a floral blouse, black slacks and bare feet.The courtship led to marriage in 1969, when she was just 20, and a move to the timber home in the fishing village on the edge of a mysterious and rugged land of rainforests and mist-shrouded mountains. “I’m sure my mum and dad worried enormously, but they couldn’t contradict our upbringing that everyone was equal,” says Kidu, the daughter of a clerical worker.“And my late husband was a unique person. He was a man before his time here, he was a man who could walk in both worlds very well,” she adds.

The small tribal tattoos on her pale wrists suggest she can do the same. The young wife became a schoolteacher and her husband a lawyer, but life centred on the village.“Our whole life was traditional activities. At the weekends we would be out in traditional canoes to collect firewood, out collecting sea urchins.” Their marriage created difficulties with both the expatriate community and traditional society.“Mixed marriages were very rare, especially where the woman was from outside — it was usually expat men marrying local women who then lived an expat life. “His family was apprehensive I could take him away, but he made it very clear he wasn’t going to move into the lifestyle of an expatriate. “The expats had nothing to do with me — there was little interchange between the lifestyles. It wasn’t easy. I did a lot of crying, but Buri’s mother was a very special woman, very supportive.

In the early days, Kidu earned more than twice as much teaching as her husband did as a lawyer because she was Australian and he was “on native wages.”Even so, in village life “roles were very clearly defined, women do the drudgery and the work — not that they’re necessarily unhappy with their lot. “On top of teaching, I’d come home and scrub pans.

On weekends we’d go to the gardens, go shellfishing, all those traditional women’s activities.“When I was first here men would perform magic before planting the yams — it was still very traditional, no water, no power, we used hurricane lamps.  “I did what I could do, I carried the bundles of firewood, but I didn’t chop it.“I think the expatriates undoubtedly thought I was a bit strange. They probably thought I was downtrodden and submissive.” Kidu says she and her husband lived as equals in their personal life, but played the appropriate gender roles in the village. 

“When I pushed the issue of marriage he actually said: ‘Never ask me to choose between you and my people because I tell you now I’ll choose my people’.“I came here on that condition. It’s been very enriching — I don’t regret it at all.”In fact, says Kidu, she feels she has lived a privileged life. 

The expat/native tables were turned in 1975 when Papua New Guinea became independent, and Buri Kidu rose rapidly through the legal ranks, being appointed chief justice in 1980.He was later knighted by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who remained PNG’s head of state, transforming suburban Brisbane’s Carol Millwater into Lady Carol.In 2005, long after her husband’s death, her tireless campaigns on behalf of the poor, the dispossed and the downtrodden led to Lady Carol becoming a Dame Commander in her own right for services to Papua New Guinea. 

What do people call her now? “A lot still call me Lady, others call me Dame, but I’ve got two honorary doctorates so I’m Doctor Dame,” she says with a smile. “These things don’t really mean much to me.”Kidu has met Queen Elizabeth “several times,” she says, and tells a story of one rich royal meal that left her husband hungry for plain village fare. 

“One night we left the kids here to be looked after and we went to dine on the (royal yacht) Brittania.“As soon as we got out Buri said, ‘Come let’s go home’ — he wanted some rice and corned beef. He was starving because, you know, these tiny little portions… We came home and I put the rice on

.”They had four children and adopted two others. All have gone on to careers in law or the arts. They have kept the family home in the fishing village, but Kidu now lives mainly in a house she helped design on nearby tribal land. 

Buri Kidu served as chief justice for 13 years, earning a reputation for judicial independence from the government. In 1993 the government, in Dame Kidu’s words, “dumped him from the judiciary.”Six months later, the widely-respected judge died of a heart attack at the age of 48. Supporters believe the stress caused by the perceived injustice of the government’s treatment of him contributed to his early death.“After he was not reappointed to the judiciary there was a lot of pressure on him from people to stand for politics.  “At one time I said ‘you’re not going to escape it, people will force you into it’, and I remember he turned to me and said ‘Well, why don’t you bloody well do it?'”

After his death, she did, defying the odds and winning the Moresby South seat in the 1997 elections to become the first white woman ever to sit in parliament.“I was very passionate and determined,” she says. Kidu was re-elected in 2002 and served as the Minister for Community Development until fresh elections in July.

Two weeks after her election-day interview with AFP it was announced that she had retained her seat.Asked whether she is taken seriously in the otherwise all-male parliament, the glint returns to her eye. “Yes, when I decide I’m right and someone else is wrong I don’t back down. Yes, I’m taken seriously, very seriously.” Kidu says she was driven into politics by “issues of social justice, human rights, marginalised groups, things of that nature,” but will not stand again in 2012.

“The electorate is very, very demanding, the urban poverty is very difficult. People don’t have anywhere to turn, so you’re constantly trying to deal with destitution.”As darkness creeps over the fishing village the yells of the ragged children on the beach grow louder, mangy dogs slink among the rubbish under the raised houses, pigs snort in their slatted cages over the water. “This is part of life,” says Kidu, gesturing vaguely around. “I’m just part of it, part of the furniture. “It’s hard. Everyone’s got a lot of needs. Often I think, ‘Oh boy, I’ve had enough of this’.

But then…”Kidu leaves the sentence hanging in the balmy evening air as she gets to her bare feet and makes her way back into the house to speak to her supporters, sitting on the floor, where she had earlier been woken from her nap. 

Helen’s Story is a documentary that has been aired on Emtv about an extra-ordinary woman who defies stigmatation and discrimination to “speak-out” and advocate on HIV/AIDS. This story airs tonight also on Emtv and while I have not seen the documentary, I have decided to interview Helen and do my own “Helen’s Story” for 3 minutes on youtube.

In this short video Helen encourages young people who are sexually active to use a “condom” for protection as their is no other alternative. “Once you have the HIV virus thats something you will live with the rest of your life…….and if you are going to have sex, please use a condom and there is no other way I can recommend to you”.

I meet Helen during a recent BAHA Masters Trainers workshop in Port Moresby. Helen is living with HIV/AIDS and works with Anglicare Stop Aids to advocate for those people who are living in AIDS and also to tell young people about the dangers of HIV/AIDS. Helen’s Story is very motivating for those advocating for PLWHA that they are also human and they should be discriminated because of the HIV/AIDS statues.

HIV/AIDS victims have the same rights to living and basis services as you and I and it does not matter what their status is. Discrimination must have no place in our society. If you have a relative that is living with AIDS, make sure you know how best to take care of them. Having basic knowledge on HIV/AIDS helps one to care for thier relative living with AIDS.

FORMER prime minister Rabbie Namaliu is the first high profile MP to lose his seat in the national elections.Sir Rabbie, who is leader of the country’s oldest political party, Pangu Pati, was beaten for the Kokopo Open seat which he has represented in Parliament since 1982. He was defeated by Patrick Tammur, the son of Oscar Tammur, the man he dethroned for that seat.Sir Rabbie, who was attending a gathering at his Raluana village in Kokopo at the time of the declaration, accepted his people’s verdict and thanked them for their support.

Sir Rabbie said he had been expecting a close race because five candidates including the MP-elect were from his LLG area. Despite losing, Sir Rabbie is confident Pangu Pati will get a good number of members into Parliament. He said Pangu candidates were doing well so far. On the leadership of the party, he said, a decision would be made later.


This would be done after all results were completed and declared.Sir Rabbie said he was looking forward to a break from politics adding he would be spending more time now with his family.The break would also allow him to decide on what to do in the future. Asked if this was the end for him in the political arena, he replied: “In politics, you never say never, because the circumstances may change but for now, I am out of politics.”

Sir Rabbie has been contributing alot to the development of Papua New Guinea during his tenure as Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and has held many folios within the government. The last post Sir Rabbie held was the Minister for Treasury which was given to him after Bart Philemon was removed.
He has gain international recognitions for his work and has worked alot with International Agencies such as the World Bank, European Union, Asian Development Bank, United Nations and foreign Embassies.

The last time I meet Sir Rabbie was September 2006 in Singapore. He was there to attend the annual IMF/World Bank meetings which I was also there to attend and witness the launch of the World Development Report 2007: Development and the Next Generation. Sir Rabbie hosted a dinner for the Papua New Guinean delegates and sent an invitation for me to attend.

It’s a shame that Sir Rabbie has lost his seat but that is what the majority of people has chosen for the Kokopo Open Seat and I believe, it is their interests in Kokopo that must be taken into account regardless on who is and who is not a good leader.

Election in Papua New Guinea has gone down to the counting stages. While most of the electorates have started counting, there are a few that have yet to count. There are a few minor hiccups thats delaying the counting. Reports also has been the the Hela electorate do not want to part with their ballot boxes.

 In the National Capital, counting has officially started yesterday. I was on the road yesterday afternoon to interview some of the voters who voted in the Moresby South Open Electorate.

It seems that Dame Carol Kidu is getting the vote for most people in the electorate as confirmed that she is leading the count after 9th ballot boxes. After her is the happy Gardener and George Lavari.  With the Regional seat, Huma Rights Lawyer, Powes Parkop is in the lead ahead of businessman Wari Vele and Sir Mekere is leading in the Moresby Northwest electorate.

Dame Carol Kidu and Marie

Free Education. That should be the battle cry of voters now that they have chosen their leaders over the next few days. But you can actually get a free education online. This is due to major and prestigious universities offering their courses for free – over the internet!

It’s called opencourseware or intellectual philanthropy. You can actually get an Ivy League college education or even a master’s degree by logging into the websites of these universities, read the lectures, hears or sees the lectures on video, and read the reference books and other materials. There is even a feedback mechanism. Try MIT. It has one of the best free course offerings.

How do you get to these universities? Well, buy a computer, and have a fast connection to the internet. If there are two or more of you sharing the computer, you can split the cost two or three way.

With the universities on the Internet, you have your menu of virtually unlimited options—choose the professors you want, read the books you want and jump from one course to another—journalism to engineering, management to geodetic engineering, back. There is no restriction. You can even specialize in climate change. The only limiting factor is your imagination.

Of course, on the Internet, you don’t need to cheat. If you do, you are fooling yourself. Did you know that majority of students in UPNG cheat? Even in the exams in their ethics class, they cheat.

With Universities and College education here has become so expensive; parents of students need a public office or a similarly remunerative racket (not drugs, please!) just to support their children.

I know can study my Japanese again and take up German language also. Oh…I’m also trying my hands on Electrical Engineering and Computer science!

Anyway, thanks to the world becoming flat, finally, premium education is universal. Accessible to all. For free.

News
01 Jun 2007 // Logging into learning.
Read more on The Hindu Business Line
21 May 2007 // Top Universities Offer Free Lectures Online.
Read more on KGO-TV
15 May 2007 // State colleges may offer free course materials.
Read more on HJNews.com
22 Apr 2007 // MIT OpenCourseWare nears completion.
Read more on insidevandy
15 Apr 2007 // MIT OCW named one of America’s 100 best for 2007.
Read more…
10 Apr 2007 // Wanted: Single Standard for Open-Content Licenses.
Read more on eSchool News Online
10 Apr 2007 // Free MIT Course Materials and Supply Chain Seminars.
Read more on EDN
09 Apr 2007 // Public eduCommons Demo.
Read more on Iterating Toward Openness
04 Apr 2007 // Extraction Action.
Read more on The Chronicle of Higher Education
04 Apr 2007 // MIT Courses, Now in Chinese.
Read more on The Chronicle of Higher Education
04 Apr 2007 // UC Irvine launches Free Online Financial Planning Course.
Read more on American Digital Networks
03 Apr 2007 // MIT OpenCourseWare selected as one of the top 300 Political Science Web resources.
Read more…
03 Apr 2007 // Open Education 2007: Conference Call for Papers.
Read more on Iterating Toward Openness
02 Apr 2007 // Open Content Learning Portal Debuts.
Read more on eSchool News Online

 

Youth Coalitions

Posted: July 3, 2007 in Education, Information, Talk Sex

There are alot of youth organizations around the world that is taking up the challenge of airing out youth issues and fighting for their voice to be heard. Some of these youth organizations specificly target certain social issues while others are broad in nature. Some of these youth organizations are donor fundered while others operate for a profit.

Yet…all these youth organizations have one thing in common. And that is to advocate for the rights of young people. Rights that are agreed on by member countries in the UN Charters and Conventions. Some of these groups are Global Youth Coalition on HIV/Aids http://youthaidscoalition.org/, Taking It Global http://takingitglobal.org/ and even international organizations like World Bank and United Nations have their own youth section with their department.

Now when I did a posting on Sex Education….I sent a link to GYCA http://youthaidscoalition/ so young people visiting GYCA website can also visit the Yu Tok Blog. Well, I got a quite few visitors and some of those visitors wanted me to write something about their activities. One particular oranization, Youth Coalition http://youthcoalition.org/ wanted to invite me to a Pacific Training. This training is about Youth Sexual Reproductive Rights and it will be staged in Fiji early November 2007.

The interesting thing to note about Youth Coalition is that, unlike most NGO youths they actually have an office and have staffs that are working on contracts. Their office is based in Canada, have a full-time staff on contract and most amazingly…they have annual reports. Now talk about being organized for a youth group…….but thats not the end….they also have sponsors and some of their sponsors are Ford Foundation, Dutch Government and anonymouse donors.

Youth Coalition stands for the following values and principles:

  • Sexual and reproductive rights are human rights, and therefore apply equally to young people.
  • All human rights are universal and must not be limited on the grounds of conflict with religion, culture or tradition.
  • Sexuality and sexual expression are integral parts of the personal identity of all human beings, therefore applying equally to young people.
  • Youth participation is essential to ensure that sexual and reproductive health and rights programmes and policies address the needs of young people.
  • Young people have a valuable contribution to make to society and must be given a voice in all policy and decision-making processes which is recognized, respected and incorporated.
  • Sexual and reproductive health and rights information and education are vital in safeguarding and promoting the life, health, and well-being of young people.
  • Sexual and reproductive health services are vital in safeguarding and promoting the life, health, and well-being of young people.
  • All women, irrespective of age, have the right to medically safe, legal and accessible abortions.
  • The sexual and reproductive lives of young people must be free of coercion or the threat of violence.
  • Funding for sexual and reproductive health and rights programmes must meet the needs of all young people.

Now if you don’t believe me…..visit the site http://www.youthcoalition.org/ yourself and see it.