Young professionals host GBV dialogue

The Young Professionals Network of Papua New Guinea (YPN PNG) held a moderated panel discussion on the national scourge of Gender Based Violence (GBV) to seek pathways for action.

The digital dialogue on Thursday 27th August in Port Moresby was livestreamed to YPN members across the country and abroad. The panel for the discussion, which was moderated by the YPN President Peggy Maha, included:

  • Dr. Fiona Hukula PhD, Senior Research Fellow & Program Lead, PNG National Research Institute (NRI)
  • Nou Vada, Lawyer & Activist, Motu Koita Assembly
  • Dr. Edith Digwaleu-Kariko MD, Vice President, PNG Women’s Doctors Association
  • Ruth Kissam, Operations Director, PNG Tribal Foundation

“You cannot say it’s not your business, when you see something wrong you need to do something,” said panellist Ruth Kissam to members of the YPN. “Within your own profession, end the silence. Your voice could save a life.”

It was a wide-ranging discussion examining societal factors that led to the prevalence of GBV, and also Sorcery Accusation Related Violence (SARV). In particular, the panel spoke about the need for better baseline data collection, the research on the positive role of women parliamentarians in legislative reform, the capacity gaps in provinces and district in PNG, community expectations of justice, the need for women’s financial empowerment and the lack of basic education and awareness on the GBV issue, its causes and possible pathways for action.

In the wake of increased national discourse on GBV following the brutal murder of the late Jenelyn Kennedy, YPN partnered with the Business Coalition for Women (BCfW), which is funded by the governments of both PNG and Australia, to host and livestream the event. Video production of the event was done in partnership with Tribe Agency and broadcast on Zoom by Spidertekpng Ltd.

The YPN has held digital events to inform its members on issues of national concern, and to catalyse civic action by young professionals. In keeping with this ethos, panellist Dr. Digwaleu-Kariko said, “Kudos to YPN for organising this event, it’s important that young people discuss these issues. If we don’t talk about it, we won’t know how to fix it.”

Press release