Calls for Collective Action to End GBV

As the world commemorates Human Rights Day on December 10, Chargé d’Affaires Katherine Monahan from the United States Embassy in Port Moresby emphasises the urgency of standing up for the rights of mothers, sisters, and daughters.

This appeal comes at the close of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, highlighting the persistent global issue that obstructs women and girls from fully participating in society.

In her op-ed, Monahan underscores the pivotal role of collective action by individuals, governments, civil society, and businesses to eradicate gender-based violence. Reflecting on the 16 Days of activism, she emphasises that achieving gender equality requires addressing the pervasive human rights abuse that affects women and girls worldwide.

Monahan points out that the United States is committed to tackling this complex issue domestically through policies such as the U.S. National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality. Internationally, the U.S. is partnering with countries like Papua New Guinea, where gender-based violence has profound consequences for families and communities.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is actively supporting survivors of gender-based violence in Papua New Guinea by providing essential medical supplies, reproductive health care, counselling, and other crucial assistance.

Monahan stresses the importance of integrating gender-based violence screening into health services, citing recent experiences at the second Summit on Gender Equality at APEC Haus and safe houses in Port Moresby, Mt. Hagen, and Lae.

However, Monahan emphasizes that responding to gender-based violence is only part of the solution. She calls to dismantle the systems that enable such violence, urging fathers, brothers, and sons to stand against the abuse of women and girls.

Highlighting a significant development, Monahan mentions that in April 2022, President Biden designated Papua New Guinea as a priority partner country for advancing the U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability. Under this strategy, the U.S. is working collaboratively with local governments and communities globally to prevent, mitigate, and respond to violence.

As the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is observed, Monahan concludes by urging global unity in standing up for the rights of women. She stresses the importance of affirming women’s rights and collectively working towards ending gender-based violence for the well-being of families and communities today and in the future.

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