Amnesty International calls for more govt action for women
The government has been called upon to snap out its inaction and deliver its responsibilities to victims of violence against women.
Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific Director Dr Purna Sen said this when presenting its Violence against Women PNG report to the Minister for Community Development, Dame Carol Kidu.
"Violence Against Women is endemic in Papua New Guinea. It affects the majority of women and girls in some parts of the country. Apologists for this violence including government cling to the old tired excuse such as culture, tradition or lack of resources," Dr Sen said.
"This report shatters all those defences. Governments are obliged under international law to protect women from violence, no matter where, when or from whom."
She added that the state's failure to enable women to become safely involved in civil and economic life severely constraints the full resources for national development.
Dr Sen further added that there were numerous policy papers and conferences on the subject and PNG was a forerunner, but the state has not translated this to adequate action.
"A lack of political will and the government's tendency to dwell on difficulties and dredge up old excuses has meant that very little has changed for women in 20 years.
"Sadly, many women have come to see violence as normal, as have men, confident in the knowledge that the state will not act quickly, decisively or consistently against them," added Dr Sen.
Accepting the report, Dame Kidu said she was 'ashamed' that the government paid lip service to the women, and she hoped, the report can trigger some response.
She added that it was a wake up call for the country, not just for the government but for all the people to ensure that they too, play a key role in the addressing violence against women.