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.
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
OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
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.
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.
A WORD TO THE WISE
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
GOD BLESS PAPUA NEW GUINEA.
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.