THE risk of violence in the home and in the community is prevalent in the lives of many women, especially in the Highlands and urban centres, according to an Australian government funded report.
The 2007-08 report by AusAID office of development effectiveness (ODE), found that two out of three women suffered domestic violence and that 50% of women were victims of forced sex.
“Gang rape, payback rape, rape in connection with tribal fighting, and the torture and murder of women suspected of sorcery are clear features of violence against women, with the additional risk of contracting HIV within the context of a generalised epidemic spreading rapidly throughout rural as well as urban areas,” the report said.
It said women were disadvantaged in many ways compared to men and to women in other parts of the world, because they were deprived of land rights, patterns of marriage, and low cash income making them dependent on men.
“This maintains male dominance and control founded on the ever prevalent practices of bride-price and polygamy.”
The Melanesia and Timor AusAID ODE report added that PNG’s current justice system did little for women against violence, whether through formal or informal means letting frequent offenders off the hook.