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For for the love of Bilum

For the love of Bilum


PLN Australia are proud to announce their involvement and support for the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Women and Trade Programme in the Pacific. The ITC is a joint subsidiary organ of the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation based in Geneva. The project aims to increase the economic participation of women in the economy through trade and microbusiness. The initial roll-out of the programme is in Papua New Guinea and is centred around Bilum. 

The project is aimed at transforming the traditional and largely informal, fragmented activity of Bilum weaving into an art form and making it an economically viable export product for the benefit of the women involved in the production of the Bilum articles. Moved by the economic empowerment of women objectives, PLN Australia and Fairfax Legal have been jointly assisting  the ITC in a pro-bono capacity by providing initial structuring advice for the organisation to be established in Papua New Guinea. Once established the organisation will assist women in Papua New Guinea through providing them with access to training and educational programmes, Bilum fibre as well as services and facilities to allow them to create Bilum products. 

In late April, Sydney lawyer Samantha Cook joined forces with Keith Iduhu and Vanessa Kihanges the PNG team on-the-ground, to attend the advisory committee meeting to discuss the establishment of the national association. Project Bilum is not only for a great cause, but it is another opportunity for the Sydney and Port Moresby team to work collaboratively together.

Torek Farhadi, ITC Women and Trade Senior Adviser, says "ITC is very much appreciative of PLN making its' expert time available to the project on a pro bono basis. This is a potent model for development, and allows real life practitioners to support economic empowerment of underprivileged women in the Pacific region." 

Photos courtesy of Torek Farhadi, ITC

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