By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
PAPUA New Guinea is ranked second from the bottom among 162 countries in the world as regards to the safety and treatment of women and children, according to a United Nations report.
Parliament was told yesterday that the 2020 Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme rated the country as “unsafe for women and children”.
Alotau MP Charles Abel, the chairman of the special parliamentary committee on gender-based violence, said the report detailed how PNG woman had been badly treated.
“It means that 56 per cent of women aged (between) 15 and 49 have experienced physical violence, and 28 per cent have experienced sexual violence,” he said.
“Also 18 per cent of women experienced violence during pregnancy.”
The only country rated worse than PNG on the gender inequality index was war-torn Yemen in the Middle East. Chad in Africa is just above PNG.
Abel tabled his committee’s first report in Parliament yesterday.
“The demographic and health survey data also indicated that 28 per cent of adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 had experienced sexual violence,” he said.
“Data from the national health information system database states that from 2018 to 2020, medical care was provided to 18,759 cases – or 12 per cent.
“In one study in the National Capital District, about 60 per cent of children who went to a women’s shelter in Port Moresby had been abused.
“I am even more worried that among the woman who reported any form of physical or sexual violence, and who sought help from anyone, only 5 per cent sought help from police, 5 per cent from medical services and just 3 per cent from social services.”
Abel said that the committee was disappointed to hear at public hearings about how GBV victims had to wait for a long time for their cases to be investigated and prosecuted.
He said many cases did not reach any conclusion.
“We hear at the public hearing that last year, the police registered about 15,000 cases, but only 300 were prosecuted and there were only 100 convictions,” he said.
By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK