By Sasha Pei-Silovo – EM TV Online
A recently developed workshop-stratagem to combat gender-based violence in Papua New Guinea has been launched with the goal of encouraging active stakeholder participation throughout the provinces, at all levels.
This is to drive provinces to work towards eliminating gender-based violence by taking into effect preventative measures, enabling [and ensuring] equal access to justice and assistance for victims; and to efficiently and effectively create monitoring systems for which gender-based services and activities can be measured against, and kept on track.
The national gender-based violence workshop initiative is the outcome of key stakeholder-partnership, between the Department for Community Development, Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee (FSVAC) – a sectoral committee of the Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council (CIMC) funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) with the support of the United Nations Development Programme of PNG and the United Nations Gender Task Team.
Violence against women in PNG remains a challenge; intolerable and exceptionally high, two out of three women have experienced some form of violence in their lives. Gender-based violence and discrimination are obstacles to women-empowerment and development. And directly affects the realising, and fulfilling of the rights of women and girls to ensure a safe, healthy and violence-free PNG for womenfolk.
Gender-base violence continues to have negative impacts on society, hindering the postitive growth of the country. Compared to males, females are underrepresented at all levels of government, have less access to education and healthcare, are often oppressed, degraded and (most times) made to suffer in silence.
The national gender-based violence workshop-initiative will enable participants to review statistics and collated data.
The workshops will also allow for thorough analysis on intervention methods developed by the government, development and private sector agencies’, civil society organisations and other stakeholders involved in the fight against gender-based violence in Papua New Guinea.
Capitalising on the progress of the rights of women in the country, particularly with the passing of the Family Protection Bill in 2013, the nationwide workshops are a step-forward for key agencies to implement objectives to addressing gender-based violence.
While acknowledging the Family Protection Bill, it is also understood that there is much, yet to be done at the community, district, provincial and national levels, in ensuring that appropriate measures are taken to implement protection methods and procedures for women in Papua New Guinea.
With high rates of violence against women in PNG, it may seem extremely challenging and disheartening for some, but agencies actively involved in the fight against gender-based violence are adamant on achieving positive outcomes at the workshops; and to strengthen their reach to have the message embedded in the minds, hearts and lives of the people of this nation.