24 Mar 2006

Women in PNG in anti-rape march

3:24 pm on 24 March 2006

More than 2,000 women have marched through the Papua New Guinea capital, Port Moresby, demanding long prison terms for rapists with some calling for their castration or execution.

The march follows a wave of highly publicised and shocking attacks on girls as young as five and pack rapes of teenage girls.

The news agency AAP reports that violence against women has become a hot issue in Papua New Guinea where cultural tradition often relegates females to background roles.

Women's activists want long prison terms for rapists while some in today's protest carried placards saying "Execute rapists and murderers".

PNG's only woman member in the 109-seat parliament, Community Development Minister, Dame Carol Kidu, was at the front of today's march through the Port Moresby suburb of Boroko to mark PNG national women's day.