According to the 2016-2018 Demographic and Health Survey, 56 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 have experienced physical violence in PNG, while 28 percent have experienced sexual violence. Photo: RNZ/Samuel Rillstone/23101103
There was alarm in Papua New Guinea Parliament last week when MPs were told that gender based and sorcery violence was widespread and much higher than reported.
heard this from Port Moresby Governor Powes Parkop, who presented a damning
report detailing the findings of an inquiry into gender based violence and
sorcery related violence.
Parkop said stakeholders across the country wanted to more action.
increasing," Parkop said.
heard testimonies of those in government, private sector and civil society to
better understand why are country continues to struggle with ever increasing
rates of violence against women and girls," he added.
from the National Department of Health shared data with us which showed an
alarming rate in the number of people presenting themselves to health services
for case relating to violence.
advise that this is only the 'tip of the iceberg'; a catastrophic human rights
violation alarming for a country not at war,
are not at war…but the reality is that we are at war"
to the 2016-2018 Demographic and Health Survey, 56 percent of women between the
ages of 15 and 49 have experienced physical violence in PNG, while 28 percent
have experienced sexual violence.
study also found that on average, almost 400 people are accused of sorcery each
year, with 65 of these accusations resulting in the accused person being
authorities reported to the inquiry that there had been 63,722 cases of
physical violence since 2018, and that the number was expected to exceed
100,000 within a few years.
enforcement reported that from January 2021 to April 2023, there were 30,028
cases of sexual violence were reported across the country out of which 1304
arrests were made - amounting to 4 percent.
is a staggering low conviction rate," Parkop said.
is what women and girls and even some men too have to face in our country,
to public spaces is a big challenge for women and girls."
report proposes 71 recommendations for consideration by the national
government, provincial administrations and MPs. Recommendations included
establishing gender quotas, such as reserving 22 seats for women in Parliament,
developing more effective rehabilitation programmes for perpetrators, expanding
the reach of law enforcement, and increasing funding to health services.
also personally recommended that government restrict anyone convicted of
domestic violence from entering Parliament.
have the tools, the means, we can make an impact on our people to change their
behaviours…to give up violence"
are the biggest employer, if we say zero tolerance against violence…it's a term
of employment for you that when you come into Government...you can't be
employed if you have a tendency to commit violence especially gender based
Parliament unanimously agreed to take note of the report following impassioned
speeches by four MPs including Prime Minister James Marape.
mother of Melanesia is an asset to the society," Prime Minister Marape
anchors the household, anchors the family, anchors the tribe and anchors the
community. Together, this Parliament…why don't we agree and rise up.
protect our wives and daughters amongst us, in doing this we would secure the
future of our country."