This paper explores the question of women, decolonisation and nation-building. It argues that the inclusion of women within the nation of Papua New Guinea (PNG) was problematic partly because women had rarely experienced mainstream colonial rule — an experience that elsewhere provided a basis for participation in the post-colonial state. The paper also investigates how women were perceived and represented by male writers at independence. While the Pangu Pati attempted to include women in state-building, these efforts were not adequately supported. PNG’s achievement of independence coincided with the globalisation of second-wave feminism, and this was to prove critical for PNG’s female citizens in their efforts to be included in the new state, for PNG’s membership in the United Nations provided an external push to raise women’s participation in the nation. Nevertheless, the government’s dependence on international organisations to push the women’s agenda also hampered the development of an autonomous women’s movement in the country. The paper argues that, for PNG’s female citizens, colonisation, independence and decolonisation occurred simultaneously after 1975.