The National, Monday February 3rd, 2014
By NATASHA EMECK
WOMEN around the country are mourning the death of National Council of Women president Scholla Kakas last Thursday.
Kakas died at the Wabag Hospital after being sick for the past three weeks.
Her body was received by a crowd of mourners in Port Moresby on Saturday after it was flown in from Wapenamunda.
Relatives said Kakas, 57, had been struggling with illness until she died at 5pm last Thursday.
People gathered at her home in Gerehu for her haus krai on Saturday.
Relatives said it was a testament to the lives of people she touched.
NCD Women’s Council president Maria Andrew described Kakas as a lady with a heart for the people, especially women and children.
“She was never married nor had children. She was married to women’s work, she was married to the half of the population of PNG made up of women,” Andrew said.
“She was different from previous (women’s council) presidents – she came in with a vision and the first thing she looked at was the National Council of Women’s Act.”
After an eight-year-long campaign led by Kakas, the legislation was finally passed in 2012.
“I was really proud and even today I am really proud that she had done something – she had left something behind that women of Papua New Guinea will inherent long after she had gone.”
NCD Govenor Powes Parkop was one of the people who paid their respects to Kakas on Saturday.
He described her as a sister and a true champion of the people.
“She deserved the respect that’s being given to her because we have lost a true champion and she was a person who has sacrificed her entire life for the cause of our people, not just women,” Parkop said.
“During Scholla’s time as president we have achieved a lot. We tried to put the women’s bill to parliament and we nearly got it and jumped over that first hurdle but there are still more to come to have women’s seat in parliament.”
Parkop applauded Kaka’s efforts to raise the status of women in the PNG to bridge the gaps of inequality between genders.
The Women’s Council has asked the Government to accord Kakas a state funeral.
Parkop said Kakas deserved the respect of a State-paid funeral for she was just as good as, if not better than any MP since she was elected by the women of PNG.