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Celebration continues for the 20 days of Human Rights Activism Campaign in the country, five Parliamentary members were sworn in as the Permanent Parliamentary Committee of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE) at the National Parliament.

The committee was headed by the Chairman NCD Governor Powes Parkop, East Sepik Governor Allan Bird as the Deputy Chairman and the Committee members are; Wau Waria MP Hon. Marsh Narewec, Alotau MP Hon. Ricky Morris and Moresby Northwest MP Hon. Lohia Boe Samuel.

The committees all took Oath to serve and tackle the Gender Based Violence issue.

The new GEWE Committee has seven members in total in which Central Governor Rufina Peter and Koroba Kopiago MP Hon William Bando will be sworn in on a later date.

The Chairman of the Committee Powes Parkop thanked the Parliamentary leaders for joining the GEWE committee as this will improve the lives of women and girls. 

Governor Parkop also thanked former chairman of the committee Charles Abel for his efforts in addressing GBV. 

 “We need to translate our words into deeds which is why I am so happy the Government committed to converting the previous ad hoc committee into a permanent committee and showing a strong commitment to this very important agenda for our country” Parkop said.

“I am also very happy the scope of the committee has been broadened to address not only GBV, but also gender equality and women’s empowerment. We have made many commitments globally and nationally in the past but have not made much progress.” he said

Chairman said that his committee will try their best to do what they can to address this human rights issue.

“We may not solve everything. It is not our jobs to go out and do the work. But we do have the power to do oversight of government agencies at the national, sub-national and local levels and we will use it” Chairman said

“I want to tell the people that we will be a proactive committee. We will call government agencies before our committee to tell us what they are doing – and also what they are not doing – so that we can make sure this important human rights issue is being properly addressed” chairman said.

Governor Parkop added that his committee will take on the challenge to address this issue.

“These issues of gender equality and GBV affect half of our population – our women and girls – who for a long time have been feeling like they are treated like second class citizens in our country. This committee is just a start at addressing these big challenges, but I look forward to working with my colleagues to take action” Parkop said.

The new committee has the power to examine and address the GBV related issues and the other issues that impact on gender equality, including women’s leadership, women’s economic empowerment and the GEWE reforms. 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will be providing technical support to the new Parliamentary Committee on GEWE and GBV as part of its gender programming and the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative.

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