Women leaders want illegal activities investigated

Women leaders in Western province have called on the government to investigate foreigners operating businesses, living and working in Kiunga Township.

Betty Wine, Women and Children’s Representative in the Fly River Provincial Government raised the concern following allegations of sexual abuse and increased unwanted pregnancies involving young local women in Kiunga.

Ms Wine, a member of the provincial executive council representing the health sector, expressed concern that there was rise in illegal activities including prostitution and pornography allegedly involving expatriates and people from other provinces working and living there.

“As a woman leader, I tried to intervene to stop these ongoing illegal activities but I have been discriminated and called names,” Ms Wine said.

“Foreigners should not be allowed to continue living in our country especially when they are breaking the laws, (and) abusing our young girls.

“We had a case of a young girl, 15 years (old) who died at the Kiunga hospital recently while trying to give birth, and many such cases of underaged pregnancies.

“As a leader in the province and I see these things that are not right and try to report them but I get harassed as a result.

“I am exercising my right as a leader, speaking on behalf of my people to expose these things happening in our society but I have been suppressed,” Ms Wine claims. “I am calling on the relevant authorities to step in and investigate these illegal activities and deport these people out of the country.”

She said these issues have been going on for a long time and despite reporting to the police, nothing has been done.

“Even the police are taking sides with the people who are involved and have tried to harass me and the other women leaders for speaking out,” she said. “I am calling on the police hierarchy to look into and discipline of police in the provinces, especially Western.”

“We believe that the police are taking bribes from those involved because they are biased and do not take our side of the story.

“Our society is deteriorating, there is no moral ethics and our people are suffering and something has to be done,” Ms Wine said.

Another woman leader, Rita Ketweng, a representative of the Kiunga Urban Local Level Government and a community advocate in North Fly District, said domestic violence was also on the increase in the area.

 “As a community advocate, I am concerned about these issues. We want to address them but the biggest challenge is funding and logistical support.”

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