GBV public inquiry

The Special Parliamentary Committee on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) today held its first day of public inquiry at the APEC Haus.

The turn-out for this public hearing brought key figures from different departments that placed importance in voicing the critical issues related to addressing GBV.

For two days, the hearings will discuss critical issues related to addressing GBV, including:

  • Examining the amount and use of funding provided by the Government to address GBV;
  • The delay in establishing the National GBV Secretariat and how to activate that body to be more effective;
  • Challenges with investigating and prosecuting GBV cases across the country and how to address them; and
  • How women’s reserved seats can be progressed as a strategy for ensuring women can co-lead the national GBV response.

Member for Alotau, Charles Abel, voiced his concerns to the committee and those present when it came to addressing sorcery accusation related violence.

So tu yumi mas lukluk bek lo yumi yet, yu stap Christian, dispela Christian em winim sanguma. Yumi mas prei lo God, God em moa strong then dispela ol blek mejik or sanguma. So yumi noken konim yumi yet, na konim God tu. Pray lo God okay bihain na go na wokim dispela pasin gen. Nogat sem lo yumi,” he said.

Also at the inquiry was Marcia Kalinoe of the Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council, who said: “I feel that it is a really good opportunity for the parliamentary committee on GBV to hear from frontline responders on the situations and what their experiences on working on addressing GBV issues.”

Gary Bustin of PNG Tribal Foundation raised many concerns in regards to the issues relating to sorcery accusation related violence (SARV), and he hopes that through this initiative, situations facing families, individuals and communities will improve.

“We’re really happy to see that the committee is focusing on prosecutions, especially in cases of SARV. We have to be able to prosecute the glasman and glasmeri especially because they are con artists and we also need to prosecute the perpetrators,” he said.

Abel, Chairman of the Special Parliamentary Committee, thanked the seven committee members and other honoured guests for their time and presence in addressing pressing issues of GBV.

Carol Kidu