The National, Thursday 16th May 2013
By DOROTHY MARK
A MAN wept publicly and apologised for the wrongs he caused his wife as women marched in Madang yesterday in support of a nationwide protest on violence against women.
He was joined by nine other men who wept and asked God to forgive all husbands and men who had assaulted, killed and caused some form of violence on women and children in the country.
The rain which fell during the march was according to the women representing their tears as they participated in the national haus krai.
Hundreds took to the streets of Madang dressed in black shouting their demands for a stop to violence against women and children.
Women working in various government offices and private sectors including female students and teachers, nurses and non-government organisations workers marched with banners decrying violence against women from Laiwaden oval to the Bates oval in town.
The women came from as far as Usino Bundi, Middle Ramu, Raicoast, Bogia and Karkar Island to declare a war against wife beating, rape, adultery, prostitution and other forms of violence destroying women, girls and family units.
Yesterday, women representing the four regions in the country and the six districts of Madang staged public prayers seeking God’s wisdom on how the country could deal with such violence.
Madang civil society organisation founder Theresa Kas said the decision to stage a national haus krai was initiated by Esther Igo of Women Arise.
It coincided with Madang women’s protest against a rape on Karkar Island where petitions were submitted to the MPs to impose maximum penalties for those guilty of serious crimes.
“All women have some sort of violence going on in their lives and were ignored for a long time and it is time we say enough is enough,” Kas said.
Four different women representatives prayed for God’s guidance and protection on all women in thecountry.
“We are here because we have a problem and no matter what may come, God is alive and is here to hear our cries,” NGI representative Dora Petali said.
Representing the women in the Highlands region, Vicky Bavake said God was the answer to all these violence and could inspire MPs to do right decisions at national level to help women.
“God is the initiator of all government systems,” Bavake said.
Southern region representative Tapora Karava prayed and blessed all women in the region and all remote parts of the country and AnnieWama prayed for Mamose women.