Women village court judges fear for safety

National

By PISAI GUMAR
WOMEN village court magistrates in Morobe fear for their safety during decision-making and has urged the Government to ensure a protection mechanism is in place for them.
Eight women magistrates in Kabwum raised their concern after a week’s training and were sworn in along with 100 male counterparts last Friday.
They were Nancy Hondas, Tabi Shao, Zatawe Yasongi, Andi Jim, Mineyu Manutingke, Bumaru Winding, Delvin Lemita and Judy Jerry.
Spokespersons Winding and Yasongi said that women’s contribution to the justice system as village court magistrates received overwhelming support from their husbands.
“We are in danger as we walk the bushes, cross rivers and walk the high, rugged mountains of Kabwum in the name of justice to mediate issues to ensure peace and harmony are maintained in communities” Winding said.
“We are likely to come under attack anytime when walking to the mediation venue or returning home after justice is delivered. What does the judicial system in the country has in place to protect us?”
Winding said that critical cases noted involved schoolgirls without husbands becoming pregnant and sorcery cases. She said that women in villages always kept quiet instead of speaking out about violence they experienced from men.

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