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Thread: Pervasive violence against women in PNG

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Bogan-ville, Papua New Guinea.

    Default Re: Pervasive violence against women in PNG

    the expat community was pretty male-dominated/macho. Not necessarily tacitly condoning violence, but not necessarily seeing an issue with the use of it either.
    Welcome to PNG
    "Piety is directly proportional to stupidity." Anthony W. Allsop.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Bogan-ville, Papua New Guinea.

    Default Re: Pervasive violence against women in PNG

    ok guys. Some of you have asked "what can I do? How can I help". Well, afte 18months of beating my head againt this issue, I've had a wee breakthrough. The DV forum I now admin is all fired up about a petition. which is the first and only step it's taken to actual activism, as opposed to ress the like button and feel good" slacktivism they've been indulging in for the past few years.

    I am going to post the petition as it currently stands. I am not happy with it. The wording irks me and I think the demands aren't clear enough, BUT...

    It's taken my 10 days of gently coaxing, outright yelling and deletion of about 1000 STUPID suggestions to come up with what we've got. I've explained the importane of community consultationand involvement, and this is what we've come up with.

    Comment and suggestions gratefully recieved:

    The Women of Papua New Guinea are tired!

    The women of Papua New Guinea and the men who support them would like to put the government on notice that we are tired.

    We're tired of so many things and we have no intention of tolerating them any longer.

    In Particular

    We're tired of being treated as second-class citizens.

    • We're tired of being beaten by our intimate partners and living with the constant threat of violence.

    • We're tired of being sexually abused and raped and/or living with the constant threat of it.
    • We're tired of our complaints, and attempts at redress for the crimes committed against us, being ignored
    • We're tired of not participating in the national affairs of this nation; of our voices not being heard.
    • We're tired of our lack of recognition


    To refresh the collective memory of the parliament, we would like to remind you of sections of our 'Mama lo' that we feel have been egregiously breached and which require an immediate remedy (see hereunder).

    We, the women of this nation of Papua New Guinea are of the strong opinion that this government and previous governments have been negligent in upholding these sections of the constitution and, if necessary, we will seek redress.

    We demand that the constitution be upheld.

    The current status quo is NOT an option.


    We have two urgent and initial requirements:
    1. Representation in parliament and…
    2. …proper protection under the law for women.

    1. Representation.

    We've noted with dismay that the Equality and Participation Bill has not been passed through parliament. We also noted that although there were ministerial assurances that it was backed, during the last vote there were not enough MPs in the house to pass the reading even if all had voted in favour.

    We find the action of these absentee MPs to be utterly contemptuous towards us: the women of PNG do not appreciate this apathetic and lackadaisical representation.

    We demand better: we would give better.

    It is an obligation of the government to ensure that the constitution is upheld: bills have been rushed through, there's even been precedents of changes being implemented and applied although the bill has not been in place prior.

    The government has the power and the precedents to make this bill happen and we demand that you do so prior to the upcoming elections of June 2012.

    We're also very tired of waiting.

    2. Safety and protection of the law

    The laws of PNG and the provisions in the constitution for the protection of citizens are only honoured in the breach as far as women are concerned.

    We want every police station to have, on staff, an officer, preferably female, who is trained in handling cases of violence against women to ensure the breaches of the constitution do not continue and the perpetrators of violent crimes against women are guaranteed to be pursued and prosecuted to the nth degree of the law.

    We insist that this be implemented without further delay.

    We will no more accept placidly unnecessary deaths or injuries amongst PNG women due to government inertia.

    The solution must be in place before the close of 2012. We demand it.


    We would like to remind the government that the women of PNG hold 50% (approx.) of all eligible votes and will cast them wisely and prudently.

    We're tired of fighting for crumbs off the table.

    We will use our votes to ensure our democratic, inalienable and human rights.
    Why? Because we're tired of only having them in principle.

    We demand to have the practical advantages of being a first-class citizen of Papua New Guinea – we'll settle for nothing less


    Addendum: The constitution states:

    National Goals and Directive Principles:

    We declare our first goal to be for every person to be dynamically involved in the process of freeing himself or herself from every form of domination or oppression…

    We accordingly call for:

    • 2(1). …an equal opportunity for every citizen to take part in the political, economic, social and religious life of the country; and
    • 2(2). …the creation of political structures that will enable effective, meaningful participation of our people in that life…
    • 2(10). …all persons and governmental bodies of Papua New Guinea to ensure that, as far as possible, political and official bodies are so composed as to be broadly representative of citizens from the various areas of the country…
    • 2(12). …recognition of the principles that a complete relationship in marriage rests on equality of rights and the duties of the partners…


    • (a) …life liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law: and
    • (b) …the right to take part in political activities; and
    • (c) … freedom from inhuman treatment

    Subdivision III.3, Subdivision B

    @ 36 (1) No person shall be submitted to torture (whether physical or mental) or to treatment or punishment that is cruel or otherwise inhuman, or is inconsistent with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.

    @ 37 (1) Every person has the right to the full protection of the law…

    Subsection C – Qualified Rights

    @55(1) Subject to this constitution all citizens have the same rights, privileges, obligations and duties irrespective of race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed, religion or sex.

    @55(2) Subsection (1) does not prevent the making of laws for the special benefit, welfare, protection or advancement of females, children and young persons, …

    and believe me this is the short version.

    "Piety is directly proportional to stupidity." Anthony W. Allsop.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Bogan-ville, Papua New Guinea.

    Default Re: Pervasive violence against women in PNG

    Christianity, Masculinity and Gender
    Violence in Papua New Guinea

    On the other hand, despite some gestures towards equality in the Catholic Church, such as a reference to women’s empowerment in the Pastoral Plan, primacy is often given to the traditional model of the man as the head of the family. This is illustrated, for example, in the way that some men’s groups have developed. Set up in several provinces as a male equivalent of the Catholic Women’s Federation in an effort to address domestic violence, these ‘Papa groups’ have been organised to examine what men can do together to address the issue of violence.10 However, rather than working to establish more equitable relations with women, some men see the role of the Papa groups as an affirmation of male authority. In my discussions in 2006 with several men responsible for organising Papa groups in Bougainville, one group leader used themodel of the family to explain the reason for having men’s groups (see Eves 2006:61). Since there were women’s and youth groups in the church family, he said, there was a need for men’s groups, since the father is the head of the family. ‘The father,’ he said, ‘is the head of the family and the father has all the rights over things in the family. His family must behave themselves, all the children must behave themselves and follow Christian ways.’ Another leader saw the task of men’s groups as strengthening men’s role in organising, disciplining and bringing family members into line.

    And, from the chapter on "Born-Again Churches"

    Further, some churches, consider domestic violence to be a problem only if it occurs in public, so that violence in the privacy of the home is tacitly condoned. During my fieldwork in New Ireland, I heard this articulated on several occasions. One specific case involved a pastor who was subject to disciplinary action by the church and suspended from his role for a period of months, after beating his wife. The suspension was not imposed for his act of domestic violence, but because during the episode, his wife ran outside partly naked, and so brought the incident before the public’s eyes
    A man who seduces another woman or a leader who beats his wife in the eye of thepublic will be suspended. [Question — so he can beat her inside the house?] Inside the house, there isn’t a problem. It’s alright. But if
    you beat her in front of others, so they can see, it is not good. The church has forbidden this — you cannot beat your wife in front of others.
    True, you can beat her inside of the house.
    The Endnotes are particularly intersting
    "Piety is directly proportional to stupidity." Anthony W. Allsop.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Unhappy Re: Pervasive violence against women in PNG

    Damn it, always so late to these parties. No Reliable Internet where I am in PNG so always feeling like I'm one step behind.

    Hi vacoposs! Long time no see, how's life in miserable Lae?

    I want this to be coherent but am exhausted from travel so apologies and here goes:

    I concur with pretty much all of what's been said, esp. by Poss. But here's where I view it a little differently.

    Being a WoC (woman of colour) -even though I'm still considered white to Papua New Guineans- I understand that the cultural imperatives involved for PNG women are completely different from our Western sisters. I have never found the bull at the gate approach to be successful at all here simply because the cultural and familial ties are so much stronger in PNG and almost exactly mirror my Muslim middle eastern upbringing. The issue of DV is, IMO, not only endemic but supported through an entire political and social system. So yelling over the fence at your neighbour to stop bashing his wife and kids and having HER hurl abuse back at you is a way for that lady to protect herself. Because when you overtly support the victim, she becomes a greater target for that asshole to vent on. A PNG woman will rarely turn on her family, let alone in the presence of a stranger...and a white woman at that...well forget it. It's too much trouble for that woman.

    Also have to remember that this is a culture that still believes that if you trip while walking it must have been a spirit and if your baby gets sick, well that was the witch next door. So in terms of discussions on atheism, I've found the best approach with our national mates is a 'run before you walk' in, baby steps, ease into the conversation, gauge where that person stands. After some nice conversations we've found a surprising number of PNGns actually see the god hoax for what it is.

    And I'm sorry to admit, I would NEVER stop for someone being bashed/stabbed on the side of the road. We've had guns pointed at the car too many times to ever try being heroes.

    I don't know, this place is hard and it fucks with me every single day. Sometimes I want to hack some dicks off with my machete. The amount of slashed and hacked up women we medivac per year in our little part of the province is sickening. But these women almost always go back. This whole country seems to defy reason, logic, and quite often, humanity. Fuck me, this is all a little too heavy for 11.45pm.

    Please, if you can, visit this link:

    I really think its extremely pertinent to anti religion and anti DV counselling in PNG even though it is written for ex Muslims.

    Possum, give a sister a holler when you can.

    Mipela laik lukim yu sampela taim wantaim man blog yu.
    Na pikinini blo yupela i orait?

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