By Sasha Pei-Silovo – EM TV Online
Provincial male advocates of the NGO, Eastern Highlands Family Voice (EHFV), will stage a Walk Against Violence to observe White Ribbon Day during the annual 20 Days of Human Rights Activism commemorated globally.
Executive Director of EHFV, John Ericho, made this known while extending the invitation to men in the province of Eastern Highlands to join the campaign to advocate for the eradication of violence, in all its forms, against women and girls.
Men will be given the opportunity to pledge their stand against violence and by doing so, have their handprints on the ‘Walk Against Violence’ banner as a show of solidarity to end violence against womenfolk in Eastern Highlands Province, and Papua New Guinea as a whole.
The campaign will be held on Saturday 27 November, and will commence with the convening of all participants at Goroka’s Mambu Field at 9:30 in the morning; they will then proceed to walk against violence around the township and end the campaign at the National Park.
In their bid to address the national issue of violence against women and girls, the male advocates of EHFV have also planned for the staging of other awareness activities, such as dramas and plays by a local theatre group and the ‘male pledge’ which will see men, from all walks of life, make personal pledges to stop violence against women and girls.
Mr Ericho stated that violence against women and girls is everyone’s responsibility and urged men throughout the province to join EHFV on the day.
Eastern Highlands Family Voice (EHFV) has been in operation for the last 13 years and is recognised as a leading NGO working with issues of family violence, violence against women and sexual – gender based violence with the vision of “healthy, happy and harmonious families in the Eastern Highlands Province”.
EHVF was initially established in 1997 in Goroka by a group of women. These women had their own family related issues and out of their pain and anguish, they grew this organization through commitment and hard work.
Their mission is to advocate against all forms of abuse and violence within (and against) the family unit and to promote rights, values and development at all levels of society.
EHFV provide a range of services, from community mediation and conflict resolution support to paralegal advice and training. They also provide direct counselling and support services to victims and survivors of problems relating to family issues, perpetrators of family violence, and to women, men and children throughout the province.
EHFV carries out advocacy programs, training and provides practical assistance to individuals and groups involved in similar work both nationally and abroad, and collects, analyses and documents information on family rights issues in the EHP.
They also develop (and carry out) awareness programmes through events; produce and distribute information on family and family related issues and also deals with violence against women and children by fighting for their rights in a traditionally male-dominated society, where practices such as polygamy are culturally and legally acceptable and practised, thus contributing to the low status of women and the high level of violence against them and their children.