CONCERNS have been raised by the Coalition of Parliamentarians Against Gender-Based Violence as three cases highlighted continuous bullying, torture and violence against women.
Coalition co-chairman and National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop said he noted that violence was escalating with attacks continuing on women and girls.
Chairman of the parliamentary committee Charles Abel said: “How do we empower our young women to be confident, bold and creative if we punish them for one transgression by casting them out?”
“In one day, three key cases, in three chronically and horrifically problematic areas, decimated the lives of young women and their families, and darkly sullied the international reputation of our country,” the Coalition said in a statement.
- GENDER-based cyber-bullying: the public on social media has subjected Lucy Maino, the Miss PNG beauty pageant titleholder, to unimaginably intense public cyber-bullying. The cyber harassment reached a peak with not only calls for her to resign her crown, but indeed calls for much worse;
- ABUSE of power by a security company: Security guards of Ultimax Guards unlawfully detained and tortured a young woman who they caught shoplifting, for hours in the back of a second-hand store this week; and,
- SORCERY-related violence: Relatives accused a mother and her young daughter in Eastern Highlands of sorcery and tortured them with hot iron rods, broke both the mother’s arms and caused severe head injuries to the daughter.
The coalition members, including East Sepik Governor Allan Bird, Northern Governor Gary Juffa and Ijivitari MP Richard Masere, have all supported the call to the Government to take immediate action against the perpetrators.
The Coalition called upon:
- THE Government to take immediate action to support survivors and address perpetrators’ behaviours, including ensuring immediate funding to support the formal establishment of the National GBV Secretariat and the implementation of a national GBV strategy;
- POLICE and judiciary to take immediate action to ensure due process is served with adherence to laws that prohibits gender-based violence;
- NATIONAL ICT Authority to take immediate action to prosecute and penalise people engaged in cyber bullying by shutting their social media accounts after warnings were not being heeded;
- DOCTORS and nurses in our health services to provide sensitive and caring support to GBV survivors, in line with public health guidelines, including proper protocols around evidence collection and confidentiality;
- CIVIL society organisations, private sector and faith groups to join hands with Coalition members to identify and fill the gaps in services so that no woman or girl stands alone against injustice; and,
- CITIZENS to use their voices to drown out those who hide behind the banner of our moral authority, misalleging its history.