THE PNG Games rugby league 9s finals yesterday at the Lloyd Robson Oval provided the best venue for the Australian High Commission to carry out its white ribbon campaign.
High Commissioner Chris Moraitis encouraged spectators and players to speak out about violence and challenge the attitudes that allow violence to prevail in PNG societies.
In honour of the International Day for Elimination of violence against women yesterday, people were urged to wear the white ribbon to show their support.
Mr Moraitis said wearing the ribbon was a statement that the wearer believed that violence towards women was unacceptable and should not be supported and such behaviour should be condoned.
“It may be a personal pledge to speak out, participate in local or national activities, but every action no matter how big or small can make a difference.
So I encourage the athletes, officials and men and women to take up this challenge and unite to stop violence against women and girls,” he said.
The PNG cricket champions were present to show their solidarity of the cause by having all available national players in attendance.
Cricket was the only sporting code to have representative players sign contracts advocating the elimination of violence against women prior to donning national colours.
Mr Moraitis said the Australian government would continue to work in partnership with the Government and local and regional stakeholders to increase women’s access to justice and support services to prevent violence.
To conclude the campaign, Mr Moraitis did the ceremonial kick to launch the rugby league 9s finals.
AusAID’s Family Sexual Violence Action Committee staff were on hand to distribute anti-violence leaflets and posters to the players and guests.
The white ribbon campaign is run by men across the world in partnership with women.