The National- Wednesday, January 12, 2011
By EVAH KUAMIN
BRIDE price commonly practiced in Papua New Guinea, including East New Britain, is being abused resulting in women being victims of violence.
Committee member of the East New Britain Council of Churches and provincial youth and sports representative Cleopas Warpit said village and town situations had revealed that payment of bride price usually to the relatives of the woman often gave men ownership over the woman.
He said this practice was common in Motuan villages in Port Moresby where in a latest case; a man had to pay K107, 000 in cash plus bags of rice and flour, pigs and even electrical goods.
Warpit said the basic principle of bride price had been misconceived by many nowadays as previously the payment made to the woman was a sign of appreciation to the value of her work in contributing towards to her husband’s family and his clan.
He added, however, that nowadays, women were becoming commodities as well as a ‘show-off’ piece because the man’s family showed off their wealth by paying for pride price with a higher amount of money.
He challenged locals to use their traditional shell money and artifacts for payment as pride price had become too costly to use modern money and store goods and items.
Meanwhile, he added that a lot of programmes currently being conducted by the division of community development in the province had been working well.
He mentioned that the support from the provincial government had been a step forward in addressing the issue of gender equity concerning both women and men.