Chief Tony Itulam addressing the forum at the Copper Canyon Conference Hall, Tabubil Country Club

A special AGM was held on 12 April by women leaders of six mine village communities in Tabubil to amend sections in their association’s constitution.

These amendments were necessary to improve administrative processes, executive roles for improved project delivery to their communities.

Ok Tedi Mine Villages Women & Children’s Association (OKMVWCA) President Mrs Alice Mumuyong in her welcome encouraged open dialogue, unity and support by all members of the association. The proposed amendments to the constitution is to allowed for all women to be members and have eligibility in being elected as executives.

President Mrs Alice Mumuyong welcomes the association members

The amendments were prompted by  a village leader who saw association executives initiate projects but were faced with limited support from the community.

Chief of Finalbin village Mr. Tony Itulam raised the concern to allow all women residing in a respective community, no matter the ethnicity but through marriage rights to be eligible to run as executives. For this to happen, the constitution had to be amended. He said: “I recommended this last year, as one of the surviving elders, I wanted fair representation in the leadership of the association as many members were from other provinces married into the mine village communities. These women also have the right to lead just like women from the mine villages.”

Interventions by partners should aim to prevent conflicts

Mr Andrew Mari facilitating the constitution review

OTDF Program Services Sustainable Manager Mr Andrew Mari expressed gratitude at the manner in which the association executives addressed the issues faced and encouraged the women members to allow for equal participation and be supportive of each other. He said: “The manner in which society decides to move forward happens when differences are set aside. This will determine the extent to which long-term stability in your communities through the women and children’s association can be achieved and this is through reconciliation. He said OTDF is facilitating the process for many reasons but the underlying fact he said: “Interventions by partners should aim to prevent the recurrence of conflicts while repairing the damage caused.”

The constitution review ended on a high note with a reconciliation meal followed by speeches. A legal expert who developed the constitution will review the amendments before the AGM formally approves it.

OTDF Media