‘Enough is enough’, say PNG women over gender crimes by ‘callous men’

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A Port Moresby protester condemns the spate of GBV attacks
A Port Moresby protester condemns the spate of gender-based violence and alleged sorcery attacks. Image: PNG Facts

By Mark Talia in Port Moresby

“Enough is enough,” is the impassioned plea of the women, mothers and daughters of Papua New Guinea, says Mea Isaac, women’s representative in the Motu-Koitabu Assembly.

She has called for all forms of violence, abuse and discrimination against women to stop in the wake of the latest case of “barbaric torture” sparked by sorcery allegations.

Isaac made the call after witnessing National Capital District (NCD) Governor Powes Parkop hand over K50,000 (abut NZ$22,000) to the Police Department to assist with their operations to catch tribesmen in Southern Highlands alleged to have tortured five women accused of sorcery — killing two of them.

She said there were reports of far too much violence directed at innocent women, — especially the weak and helpless, ones who could not defend themselves.

“These are the very people who gave birth to you men, these are the very people who have nurtured you for nine months within their womb and the very people who help you men to grow up in feeding you, clothing you or when you cry and you fall they are there to embrace you,” she said.

“And here you are, callous men, you turn around and do this horrific act in return. Please, enough is enough,” Isaac said.

“No more violence, enough is enough; justice must be served and I am appealing to those who have committed this horrific crime to please surrender yourselves.

‘Your mothers, your sisters, your aunties …’
“These are your mothers, your sisters, your aunties and nieces why do you have to do such a terrible thing to them.”

Isaac said sorcery related, family and sexual related violence was also happening in the NCD. She cited an example such as in her village of Hanuabada, where a husband had beaten his wife to death.

She said there were many reported cases in the city settlements where women were attacked on the whim of so-called “glassman” on allegations of sorcery.

Moresby South women’s rep Rose Hagua shared these sentiments, saying that women and girls — despite so many barriers — wanted to take this challenge and to use their voice as a medium on behalf of the victims.

So they staged a march last December to raise their concerns relating to this “barbaric torture” of women in PNG’s Highlands.

Mark Talia is a PNG Post-Courier reporter. Republished with permission.

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