The National, Monday 20th May 2013
By ELIAS LARI
HOLY Trinity Primary school in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands, commemorated the sufferings of women in the province during the national haus krai last week.
Teachers wore black and students were in their uniforms as they packed the school ground with banners and poems about how women in PNG were treated.
The students and staff marked the mourning day in the school grounds while other schools were seen marching to the Queens Park oval in Mt Hagen.
Moments of silence were observed as the students and teachers bowed their heads to remember how many women in the country had fallen victims to domestic violence, abuse, rape and murder.
Female student representative Paula Tepa, a Grade 8 student, spoke about becoming a woman in PNG.
“As I’m heading towards reaching adulthood, I will one day face the challenges that my sisters and mothers are going through,” she told the large crowd.
“This is a very sad. It is about PNG man should change and treat us equally and take us as their mothers, sisters and daughters.”
Tepa said she believed that the major contributing factor causing pain and struggles in the lives of many women in PNG was the practice of polygamy.
“This is the root cause, and can the government impose laws for polygamy marriages in our society?
“This has resulted in two women fighting while the other gets killed and the other is jailed,” she said.
Tepa also thanked all media organisations in country for exposing violence against women.
“Media, both print and electronic, you have done a tremendous job and through your tireless efforts we are able to mark this day.
“It is a very sad and shocking situation when we see and read of the silent suffering of girls being raped, mothers stabbing mothers who are in polygamous marriages and many more,” she said.