UN Women says PNG making progress towards safety

5:52 pm on 27 November 2018

Papua New Guinea has one of the world's highest rates of violence against women but the UN women's agency says there is still hope and energy for making the a country safer place to live.

Port Moresby in PNG

Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Koroi Hawkins

UN Women's PNG country representative Susan Ferguson said despite the huge size of the problem she did not see energy abating among those working to reduce violence.

In fact, she sees a galvanised enthusiasm for progress, Ms Ferguson said.

The UN has launched 16 days of activism against gender based violence to call for the elimination of violence against women and girls.

Ten years ago no one in PNG talked about eliminating violence as a development issue, Ms Ferguson said, but that has changed.

"Now it's regularly discussed in the media, with politicians, at grass roots level, in churches, as a huge issue for the country to turn around and as a broader development issue as well. So I think that that's encouraging for all of us who have been involved for a long time," she said.

Every provincial hospital and many police stations now have services to support women and girls fleeing violence, Ms Ferguson said, and peer support groups for young people are helping to change behaviour.

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