Treat our women with respect

Editorial, Main Stories

WE are outraged by the mad invitation by the Member for Moresby Northeast Andrew Mald to thugs to beat his wives and sisters if they were caught in certain compromising situations.
Such compromising situations by Mr Mald’s definition involve going around the city in skimpy clothes and getting into taxis or cars.
He has reportedly put a price of K2,000 on the heads of his two wives and sisters and he has said he would not care if they (the women) were sent to the intensive care unit.
Since the ICU is where you are expected to be put on life support, we expect Mr Mald means sufficient harm to be done to his wives and sisters to warrant death.
The order, for all it is worth, has gone out so now we can expect violence on the Mald women.
We call on the Ombudsman Commission to take Mr Mald in for questioning to explain what exactly he meant by his public pronouncement.
The Leadership Code states quite categorically that by no act or omission or by any utterance should a leader allow himself or the office he holds to be called into disrepute.
Mr Mald falls into this category and has put himself into disrepute in the eyes of the public.
If Mr Mald is concerned that his wives and sisters are, by their dress standards and public conduct, calling the good name of his office into disrepute the way to check it should never be to invite criminal violence upon their person.
It is shocking that a national political leader who represents a suburban electorate will put a prize on the head of his two wives and sisters.
We can only surmise that he was in too much of a party mood to be coherent or to appreciate the full implications of the comments he was making.
What exactly is the approved Mald dress code for female members of his family?
And what are we to take of this direction to assault his relatives if they were seen getting into taxis?
Have they been promiscuous? Many women in the city catch taxis to move between home and work because it is far easier and safer than facing the disrespect and harassment on buses.
It is a poor reflection of Mr Mald. It shows he does not care for the rights of womenfolk in the country, who have had it difficult at the hands of men with uncaring and brutal attitudes like him.
It does not matter that he was talking about his wives and his sisters.
He does not own them. They are human beings.
Such insensitive calls is downright degrading for all womenfolk who have been maltreated, raped and discriminated against as a rule in this country.
Violence against women, both domestic and by external sources is extremely high in the country.
After Mr Mald’s so-called New Year resolution, can the world appreciate why it is so?
It is an insult to the many thousands of women who braved the hot sun and dust of Port Moresby to vote Mr Mald into office.
He will need to apologise to each one of them for degrading them.
We understand Governor Powes Parkop is outraged at the reported comments by Mr Mald. And he should be.
Papua New Guinean men cannot continue to treat their womenfolk as if they are so much possessions to be sold, exchanged or treated as sex objects and punching bags.
The country proclaims itself to be a modern democracy and adopts the bill of rights as its own in its constitution.
In the national goals and directive principles contained in the preamble to the Constitution, PNG has declared equality and participation as the second goal where all citizens are to “have an equal opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, the development of our country” … and that “… equal participation by women citizens in all political, economic, social and religious activities”.
PNG is a signatory to the Beijing conference on women’s “Declaration and platform for action removal of all forms of discrimination against women” as it is a signatory to the millennium goals which at goal three calls for gender equality and for empowerment of women.
Other international protocols acceded to by PNG makes this country a member of the international community.
It behooves leaders like Mr Mald to promote those conventions and protocols within this country including in his own home as well as outside this country.