A number of social problems in the country were highlighted in parliament during debate on the Ministerial Statement by the Minister for Community Development, Loujaya Kouza, on the 2013 Annual Management Report of her department.
High teenage pregnancies, circulation of pornographic materials, child labor, domestic violence, poverty and Newslessness were amongst the issues debated.
Minister Kouza was the first Member of Parliament to present her 2013 annual management report to parliament today, and received much applause from the male dominated house.
But some applause came with some insights as to how and what the department should do to minimise many social problems the nation is experiencing.
Member for Kandrian Gloucster, Joseph Lelang raised concerns of high teenage pregnancies in high schools and secondary schools around the country. He claimed that senior Grade 11 and 12 boys were preying on Grades 7,8, and 9 girls, resulting in most teenage girls falling pregnant while still at school.
This he said leaves many single and immature mothers, and something should be done about it, saying policies should be introduced to protect innocent young girls.
Madang Governor, Jim Kas also shared his views about the wide circulation and use of pornographic materials in the country, questioning the job of the Censorship Board which falls under the Department of Community Development.
He said Religious Educations lessons should be made compulsory in schools around the country in order to discipline young people.
Member for Goroka, Bire Kimisopa, highlighted the ever increasing children on the streets of Port Moresby begging, and some doing the work of traffic officers directing traffic for payment.
He said this and many other issues like poverty, domestic violence and Newslessness, which is also visible in Port Moresby, issues the department should look into and their stories told in parliament, so the MPs know what is happening in their cities and towns.
Eastern highlands Governor, Julie Soso brought up the debate on 22 reserved seats for women, calling on all male MPs to get the final reading of this bill through, to allow for women participation in parliament.
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