by Adelaide Sirox Kari – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) is an international development agency that promotes the rights of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity.
Riet Groenen, gender advisor for UNFPA, stated in discussions on gender based violence (GBV) at the PNG Women’s Forum last week, that countries, including PNG, lack the willpower to enforce treaties that address GBV.
She also said that studies carried out on GBV show that in the Pacific most of the perpetrators in cases of violence against women, were their partners.
The issue of violence against women has become priority number one for UNFPA.
However, Groenen stated that NGOs and women in PNG will be unable to get the government to act effectively, due to the lack of national statistics on GBV.
Enid Kantha, Deputy National Program Coordinator with the Family Sexual Violence Action Committee has said that they have been working with communities and partners to respond to situations.
Perhaps, most importantly, they are trying to get the GBV strategies to parliament to have them approved and enforced.