‘We’re not sending our daughters to be punching bags at uni,’ says PNG union

UPNG harassment protest 190621
A recent protest against male student harassment at the University of Papua New Guinea's Waigani campus. Image: The National

Asia Pacific Report newsdesk

Students of the University of PNG have taken the right step to demand that the authorities address harassment on campus, says the women’s wing of the Papua New Guinea Trade Union Congress.

Wilma Kose, leader of the wing, said the protest was the right thing to do as it would demand remedial action by the authorities.

She said the authorities must now inform the public on what action had been taken to address the issue.

“The prevalence of harassment of the girls and mothers, left unattended for so long, has become a major hindrance to development progress,” she said.

“As a public institution for all Papua New Guineans which is largely funded by workers — half of which are women — we demand drastic action and responses from the university administration, Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology and authorities who should be concerned about such behaviour.”

Kose said girls and women who progressed to tertiary levels of education had earned their places by merit and deserved respect.

“We are not sending our daughters, our sisters or our mothers to be someone else’s punching bag to get harassed and assaulted,” she said.

Republished with permission.

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