PARLIAMENTARIANS PLEDGE FOR ‘GOLD STANDARD’
The Coalition of Parliamentarians to End Gender-Based Violence convened today to agree to their 2021 Plan of Action.
Additionally, they met to individually pledge to role model a “gold-standard” of behaviour.
That is, the same that they are calling on every Papua New Guinean to display.
Their pledge to address gender-based violence comes at a critical time.
The last weeks have seen a steady stream of cases come to light of extreme violence against women and girls.
The Coalition MPs have expressed their concern at the numerous stories being reported of sorcery-related torture, incest and family violence.
Those include the sexual assault of children, and the abuse of police and security guard powers. Read more: https://www.sdgfund.org/gender-violence-papua-new-guinea#:~:text=The%20magnitude%20of%20gender%2Dbased,lifetime%2C%20and%20it%20is%20reported
NATIONAL PROGRESS IN GBV SPACE
The National Government launched the National GBV Strategy in 2016. It guides the Government’s efforts to address GBV across the country. In 2015, they also developed a specific Sorcery and Witchcraft Accusation Related Violence National Action Plan. Parliamentary readings: https://pngsun.com/amp/2020/05/24/icac-bill-high-on-agenda-when-png-parliament-meets/
Coalition Co-Chair Hon Allan Bird continued by saying: “We also need Provincial Governments to set up their own provincial GBV Secretariats. And, they need to develop their own provincial GBV strategies to identify local priorities. I include my own home province in this group.”
During the meeting, Coalition MPs discussed their role in addressing GBV, both as elected national leaders.
But, also as members of their own local communities and families.
They recognized the importance of role modelling ethnical, respectful behaviour.
To that end, the MPs each signed their own Coalition Pledge to End GBV, which commits each MP to never:
“Physically, emotionally, sexually or verbally abuse anyone, whether man, women or child; or bully, harass, or behave violently towards my family, my colleagues or my community.”
Together, the Coalition members stated:
“I know that my actions matter. I know that change starts with me. And if I need help, I know that I need to seek it. Today, I solemnly pledge to do this wherever and with whomever so, that there is no longer a place for gender- based violence in our country.”
At the conclusion of the meeting, the Coalition agreed on a number of steps moving forward.
Five Coalition MPs are also members of the Parliamentary Committee on GBV and will use their positions as committee members to push for public hearings to discuss specific GBV issues and priorities, including relating to prevention, law enforcement, public health responses and budgeting.
The Coalition also agreed to start planning for the next National GBV Summit. NCDC, UN Agencies and other stakeholders will host it near the end of 2021.
The Coalition’s new website will provide updates on progress on their website at www.unitedforequalitypng.com.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is providing technical support to the Special Parliamentary Committee on GBV.
It is part of its gender programming and the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, addressing Gender-Based Violence. It is also providing longer-term efforts to promote women’s participation and leadership in the Parliament.