Lawyer empowered to advocate for women’s issues


Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) lawyer Scholastica Nepel has become a confident advocate on issues affecting women after undertaking leadership training at a recent workshop in Bougainville.

“The training has really boosted my self-confidence and has greatly improved my communication skills,” Scholastica says.

The lawyer was among 15 women from the ABG Law and Justice Sector to attend the ‘Learning to Lead’ workshop organised by the ABG Law and Justice Sector with support from the PNG-Australia Partnership.

As a result of the training, Scholastica says she has the confidence and skills to further her career as a lawyer and the way she communicates with clients has improved significantly because she is able to draw out the information she needs to do her work.

Scholastica admits that for a long time she avoided doing legal work for women’s groups in Bougainville. This was largely due to her lack of understanding about women’s groups.

“My views on women’s leadership role in communities, work and family prior to the workshop was bad,” she says. 

“After the workshop, my perception on women’s leadership roles changed dramatically.

“I saw women had the power to move mountains if they are empowered by such workshops to give them the confidence to speak and act assertively,” Scholastica says.

Now she is a regular feature at women’s group meetings, providing legal expertise and assistance.

“I hope to help more young women, especially those attached with the Bougainville Law and Justice Sector and the Bougainville Public Service, gain that self-confidence to communicate effectively and be leaders in their work place and communities.”

The lawyer, who always had a passion to help, is also looking forward to working with disadvantaged people: “I try to as much as possible to help them with basic legal advice as to how they can be able to access legal services.”

Feature Pic: Lawyer Scholastica Nepel (third from left) says the ‘Learning to Lead’ workshop has improved her communication skills so she is now able to communicate confidently and effectively with her colleagues and clients.

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