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Jiwaka Women Hold Forum to Discuss Issues Affecting Families

Mothers from Jiwaka Province have petitioned the Provincial Government and their three MPs to assist help in reducing all forms of violence in the Province.

The women held their first ever three-day forum to discuss issues affecting women and children everyday.

The gesture was timely, as there are recent reports of deaths as a result of Gender Based violence and sorcery-related killings in Papua New Guinea.

The issues and demands the women presented to the Provincial Government last Friday are to end violence in homes and communities, and achieve equality and participation of integral human development.

The mothers want to end sorcery-related violence, and the killing of women, and the beliefs of magic and sorcery in Jiwaka.

An advocator, Lily Bsoer, said people in Jiwaka, like other parts of PNG, blame sorcery as the cause of the deaths and illnesses.

The majority of victims are women who are tortured by mobs, and chased out of their own villages. Lily said over 60 per cent of mothers who visited her Voice for Change office, are victims of polygamy marriages.

There is disharmony at home and between the wives.

Another issue raised is the insistence Bride Price or dowry, which is seen as a major contributing factor to domestic violence.

The mothers also petitioned the Government to check the uncontrolled and increasing number of liquor outlets in the Province, which they see as a fuel to the violence.

The Jiwaka Deputy Administrator received the petition and encouraged young women to be sure of men before marrying them.

The mothers are calling on the Provincial Government to honour and commit to ending violence against women.

They are demanding the establishment of a family and sexual violence unit at all the police stations in the province, saying it must be fully funded.

The women are also calling for an increase in resources for service providers like counselling, legal and health stations in the rural areas, where mothers can visit and get their support.

The Jiwaka mothers also called for a change to the Sorcery Act and fund rehabilitation centres.

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