For 53-year-old Hepsibah Kole, beekeeping is more than an activity that allows her to earn some money and pay for her children’s school fees. It’s an occupation that helps her fulfil her aspiration of being independent and make her own decisions.

Gender inequality remains a significant problem in Papua New Guinea. Women have limited access to health care and education, and little financial independence. Acquiring income-generating skills like beekeeping can empower women and help them rise from poverty.

ADB is working across Asia and the Pacific to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment and reduce poverty and contribute to green, equitable and inclusive development.

The people in this film are not associated with ADB, but they are affected by many of the issues that ADB is addressing in countries across Asia and the Pacific.

Transcript

Hepsibah Kole

Beekeeper

Papua New Guinea

My name is Hepsibah Kole. 

I am a housewife.

And I am a beekeeper. 

I am fifty-three years old.

There were customary laws when I was a young woman.

This meant that I was not free to do the things I really wanted to do.

I was not able to make my own decisions.

In Papua New Guinea, especially here in my village, Buang, women were not allowed to do anything for ourselves.

We had to follow the men, and this has been a challenge.

Gender inequality is a significant problem in Papua New Guinea.

Women have limited access to health care and education, and little financial independence. 

Acquiring income-generating skills empowers women and can help them rise from poverty.

Hepsibah Kole

Beekeeper

Papua New Guinea

I lead a group of women and help them with work.

There are two things that I love in what we do.

I love it when I check on the bees to see if they’re all okay.

And I love it when I see the honey all packed inside the comb.

It makes me happy to feel how much the honey weighs.

There is the queen bee.

Beekeeping has made money for me, which helped me pay for my children’s school fees, and this has made me very happy.

At the Asian Development Bank we believe that providing equal opportunities to women and girls will contribute to social and economic progress and resilient societies.

Hepsibah Kole

Beekeeper

Papua New Guinea

Women now can do everything. They too have the power to make things happen. They can speak out about women’s rights and use that power to become leaders in our country.

Your story. Your generation. Your Asia and the Pacfiic.

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