Violence and sexual abuse against women and girls in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are endemic and among the highest rates outside a conflict zone. Ranked 161 on the UN Gender Inequality Index and 135 on the Global Gender Gap Index, there are a complex number of causes leading to gender inequality and the normalisation of violence in PNG.
Human Rights Watch (2021) reported that a woman is beaten every 30 seconds in PNG and more than 1,5 million people experience gender-based violence in the country each year; 75% of children experience violence at home. In 2019, PNG’s former Health Minister, Michael Malabag reported that domestic violence affects more than two-thirds of women in PNG.
PNG has no significant public services, and the lack of funding and services has meant police and the government rely heavily on the work of civil society to fill a growing gap. The Governor for the National Capital District, Powes Parkop, in 2021 reported that a lack of capacity and resources in the courts “has led to a culture of impunity, with perpetrators confident they will never be brought to justice”. In 2020, 15,444 cases of domestic violence were reported. Only 250 people were prosecuted, and fewer than 100 people were convicted.
The proposed project is a pilot to be run in the urban village of Hanuabada, Port Moresby, National Capital District (NCD). If successful, we initially plan to roll it out across the NCD and eventually across the entire country.