Respect, protect women, girls


THE culture of violence against women and girls must be changed because it is affecting our progress as a nation and destroying the moral fabric of our society. The establishment of the special parliamentary committee on gender-based violence is the right way forward to address this social problem at the political and national levels. Many resources have been invested in addressing this issue by relevant stakeholders, but more needs to be done holistically and systematically to minimise and eliminate these acts of violence against our women and girls.Ignorance and lack of justice are major contributing factors to the prevalence of this inhuman treatment towards women in our families, schools, workplaces and communities. While strategies vary in addressing this issue, appropriate justice and public awareness focused towards educating men and accepting practical counselling will greatly help reduce the high statistics of violence and pave the way for restoration of individuals and families as well as promoting respect and honour for women and girls. Addressing the root cause is the way forward rather than dealing with the fruit and symptoms. A tree has to be uprooted in order to pave the way for development to take place. Likewise, the root of violence and unacceptable behaviour has to be uprooted before a new and acceptable culture develops in a person. Relevant information concerning the value and dignity of women and the value and function of men will not only bring personal awareness, but conviction, repentance and refraining from engaging in this unhealthy behavioural pattern against women. Men and women are equal in creation but they differ in their physical, biological and psychological composition. Men are physically stronger than women because of their primary function as the husband, provider, protector and father of the family. Women are the weaker vessel (1 Peter 3:7), which describes their fragility to any acts of aggression perpetrated against them. A woman’s body functions differently from the man’s.That includes their hormones, thyroid glands, menstruation and other internal biological functions which affects every aspect of her life. Any act of violence committed against a woman will affect her entire being because of her unique features that are interrelated to each other. Men have proportionately more muscle mass, more bone mass and a lower percentage of body fat than women. The muscular strength of a man was not designed for him to dominate a female and violently mistreat her. Men are physically stronger than women because it is their responsibility to provide, protect, care and act as the foundation that sustains the family unit.Men have a slightly larger heart and lungs with more blood circulation and respiratory capabilities than women, who have slightly smaller hearts and lungs. A male’s brain size is 10 per cent larger than a female and their brain chemistry works differently. A woman cannot easily forget any misdeeds committed against her compared to a man. When a female’s complex body chemistry is disturbed through acts of violence, she is prone to a great deal of depression, stress and anxiety that can lead to other complex health issues. A well-informed and educated generation of wise men whose minds are enlightened would not resort to violence because knowledge, like light, dispels any dark areas of ignorance within the mind. A male who understands that a female is physically weaker and a blessing will not use his strength to abuse or harm her. A man who understands that he was intricately conceived in his mother’s womb, formed and incubated for nine months before his birth would have sincere respect for all women. Men are the main perpetrators of violence not because they are bad, but it is largely due to the state of their inward condition which determines how they perceive themselves and others.The reason why the Bible states that a woman is the “weaker vessel” (1 Peter 3:7) is because she is like a vessel that is fragile. A woman can be easily hurt, wounded and damaged. Jesus did not allow the woman who was caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) to be subjected to more abuse because as a man, He knew that it was not right to devalue another human being. As a Christian country, men are supposed to follow the example of Jesus Christ who stood up to protect a defenceless woman.Martin Luther King Jr once said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Pastor Isaac James,
Port Moresby


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