U.S. HONORS FEMALE PAPUA NEW GUINEA LEADER

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By David Kapi

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, April 5) - Dame Carol Kidu, the country’s lone woman parliamentarian, was yesterday presented the prestigious U.S. government secretary of state’s award for international women of courage.

Dame Carol received the citation from U.S. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Leslie Rowe at a ceremony.

It was witnessed by Secretary for Community Development Joseph Klapat, Dame Carol’s family, friends and the media at the Sambra Haus in Port Moresby.

Ambassador Rowe said the U.S. government was "proud to recognize Minister Kidu as a part of the global group of women who fight for equal opportunity and social justice for everyone".

Ms Rowe said Dame Carol had done great for many years as a mother, community leader, public servant, a politician and now as a minister.

"She is an influential woman in Papua New Guinea … she undertook major legislative reforms to the Criminal Code on rape and sexual assault, and supported new legislation on sexual exploitation of children and her advocacy for women and children’s right has been inspirational.

"This award is given in recognition of your brave defense for freedom and human dignity in PNG," Ambassador Rowe told Dame Carol.

"I thank each and everyone, especially my family, who made my life easier in becoming what I am and this award is for every champion woman who fights for social justice and equality in PNG," Dame Carol said, in response to the ambassador’s remarks.

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