Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation. In 1980, the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
(“CEDAW”) was signed by 189 countries, including Papua New Guinea. Since then,
there have been numerous efforts to both focus on this issue and escalate its
importance as a key political agenda.
The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women of 1993 defined violence against women as, “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”
CEDAW released a comprehensive report on Papua New Guinea’s interventions to
eliminate all forms of discrimination against women in 2010, outlining numerous
concerns including that the Constitution of PNG does not include sex as a prohibited
ground, thereby allowing for lawful discrimination on the grounds of sex or gender.
In 2015, the elimination of violence against women and girls in public and in private was adopted as a target for the United Nation’s Fifth Sustainable Development Goal: and, in 2020, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutterres called for global action to address the “horrifying global surge in domestic violence” linked to lockdowns imposed by governments responding to COVID-19.
Addressing gender inequality and violence against women and girls in Papua New Guinea, is critical to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, and the economic and social future of the country.
The level of trauma from violence in childhood amongst both boys and girls, is
rampant and as a result, as they become men and women, the possibility of leading
a violent-free life is unlikely. Those who witness their parents’ abuse are 3 times
more likely to be abused or become abusers; and 70% of the men in PNG have
witnessed their fathers beat their mothers.
Violence is associated with male authority over female behavior inspired by a range of social, cultural, and religious factors. These factors include the notion that decision-making in the home is a man’s prerogative; that gender roles are rigid and distinct and that women are owned by their partners through a bride price.
Now is the Time: ...for every person to be dynamically involved in the process of freeing himself or herself from every form of domination or oppression so that each man or women will have the opportunity to develop as a whole person..Now is the Time: ...for every person to be dynamically involved in the process of freeing himself or herself from every form of domination or oppression so that each man or women will have the opportunity to develop as a whole person..
No person shall be submitted to torture (whether physical or mental), or to treatment or punishment that is cruel or otherwise inhuman, or is inconsistent with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.
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