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  • Ahisha Mangot

Laws, Policies and Strategies must be implemented

Port Moresby: On the occasion of celebrating the Feast day of the patron Saint of journalists and writers, St Francis de Sales on January 24 2023, the President of the Catholic Professionals Society Mr. Paul Harricknen gave an insightful presentation on Gender-Based Violence and Laws in Papua New Guinea.

Mr. Harricknen, a lawyer by profession, stressed that realistically, laws, policies, and strategies alone cannot be enough in addressing GBV and PNG being a male-dominated society, we still have a long way to go.

“Gender-Based Violence violates the inherent human rights of women and girls in the country. Women and girls were created equally in the image and likeness of God and GBV is repugnant to the general principles of humanity for it is in violation of the National Constitution Goals on Integral human development and participation.”

Making reference to the United Nations Development Programme 2021, Paul Harricknen shared some light to those present that Papua New Guinea is ranked 160 out of 161 countries on the gender equality index, and GBV and lack of economic opportunities remain barriers to achieving gender equality.

He said GBV is an ongoing issue that needs to be given consistent attention in the media through journalists and communications personnel and encouraged the media to do more with investigative reporting.

Mr. Harricknen said the past and present governments have been responding to the issue with laws and policies and it is very important that citizens must work together and ensure these laws and policies are regulated.

“Corruption is a major factor why GBV is not addressed and enforced fully by Law Enforcers and it is a social sin”.

He described corruption as a social sin and a major factor in why GBV is not addressed and enforced and called the government to fund the Independent Commission Against Corruption with adequate funds to function as an independent body if it wants to tackle the issue.

“The reality is that law, policy, and strategies alone are not and cannot be enough in achieving their purpose. These have to be supported by implementation and enforcement. This too cannot happen without the appropriate mechanisms, people, and funding which will also depend on strong will and real desire from those in position and power”.

Mr. Harricknen concluded his talk by encouraging the victims and survivors of GBV, SARV, human trafficking, and human rights abusers to keep on advocating and encouraged the media personnel to do more investigative reporting and keep reporting without fear or favor but with love and honesty.

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