It is claimed that improving the education of women may be the most efficient way for Melanesian countries to attain economic development goals but the necessary empirical evidence has been lacking. This paper uses nationally representative household survey data to compare the effect of mother’s and father’s education on the risk of child stunting. Stunting is the major nutritional problem is Papua New Guinea and contributes to inferior health and labour productivity. The results show that mother’s education is at least three times more productive than father’s education. Thus, under-investment in women’s education appears to contribute to the problems of poor health and economic performance in Papua New Guinea.