The governor of Papua New Guinea's capital says the country must stop treating women like second-class citizens.
Powes Parkop made the comment at the 23rd cultural show of Caritas Technical Secondary School in PNG's National Capital District.
Mr Parkop used his keynote address at the show to call for an end to cultural practices that hamper progress in PNG and its capital city.
He said for Port Moresby to be a truly world-class city, men had to start treating women as equals, and not as inferior citizens.
Citing the fact that PNG's parliament has no female members, Mr Parkop said it was an area in which the country needed to change.
"That shows we have not progressed much in this respect. It's a bad cultural practice as well. We must give it up," he said.
"We want to see a city that men respect women. Our women and girls can walk around free of intimidation, harassment and violence. That is the kind of future that we all should embrace. I hope today we can lay down the foundation for them," Mr Parkop told the assembled students, parents and teachers.
The emphasis on culture is part of a campaign by the governor of PNG's main city to clean up Port Moresby's streets and encourage residents to practice more healthy lifestyles.
This year, Mr Parkop has instigated a weekly fitness session for the city's residents. The early morning Walk and Yoga for Life sessions on Sundays have drawn a large turnout each week.
"This is the journey I have been leading. We will achieve a greater and better future if you join me in this pathway. You have the
potential. I am only helping you to see yourself as an agent of change, said Mr Parkop, himself an avid fitness and yoga practitioner.
"We also must give up habits like chewing (betelnut) and spitting everywhere and not respecting our environment, our city and our country."
Four years ago, Mr Parkop ruffled feathers in Moresby's informal economy when he introduced a ban on the public sale and consumption of betel nut.
Although the ban disrupted a common source of livelihood for many grassroots vendors, it helped make the capital's streets notably cleaner by ridding them of the common red stains of betelnut spit.
The National Capital District lifted the ban last year, but Mr Parkop continues to urge residents not to chew and spit betelnut in public.
"It is not a good culture to hold onto. It is not something to be proud of. It is my culture. Our ancestors used not to chew and spit it everywhere unlike today. It used to happen as part of peace making. It was used for special purpose.
"When your guest comes to your house, you give them betelnut to make them feel at home. It was not a commercial entity. Now we have commercialised it, we are abusing it," he explained.
Meanwhile, Mr Parkop has applauded the volunteers who clean major parts of Port Moresby, saying they are leading the way in making it a clean, safe, liveable, active and smart city.