In Papua New Guinea (PNG), family and sexual violence is considered an epidemic.  Nearly 7 in 10 women experience gender-based violence and an astonishing half of all women reported having been raped by age 15.

To support efforts to reduce violence against women, more than two dozen men have become champions for gender equality under a new AusAID program tackling the causes of violence against women in PNG.  Watch these male advocates for women’s human rights take the pledge to be an agent of change and stand up against gender inequality.

These public servants from 19 government departments have volunteered to take responsibility for eliminating violence against women by being role models and activists in their workplaces and communities.  The Department of Personnel Management has established a network of male advocates across the public service. The network is facilitated by the Economic and Public Sector Program and managed by Coffey. 

They have signed a pledge recognising that gender equality is the root cause of violence against women.  Advocates have promised to help implement the National Public Service Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Policy by identifying deficiencies in laws, policies and practices and lobbying for positive change.

The National Public Service is PNG’s largest employer, with more than 91,000 public servants across the country.

Department Secretary John Kali said men have an important role to play as advocates for helping to reduce the rate of violence against women.

“The National Public Service must demonstrate leadership in changing attitudes and behaviours in the workplace,” Mr Kali said. “It is time for men to take responsibility for sexual violence, financial and emotional abuse in the workplace and in homes and communities,” he added.

Mendi District Court Senior Provincial Magistrate Mr John Kaumi is among the advocates who received training by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre and signed a pledge to take action towards eliminating violence against women.

“We cannot change the world over night, just as Rome was not built in a day.  But it is important that we, as agents of change, start somewhere.  It starts with us at home, with our wives and families, then at our workplaces and then in the society at large,” Mr Kaumi said.