BLOG SURF: Ending violence

No human being should be treated as an object by another human being. To enjoy dignity and respect is fundamental to every person’s well-being. Yet this basic right is not being upheld for many women in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

The statistics tell a grim story. A recent UN study in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) in PNG found that 60% of men admitted to having raped a woman. However, in response, the President of AROB questioned the methodology of the research.

Labelling the study flawed and imperfect, he went further, arguing that a matrilineal society like Bougainville would do everything possible to protect its womenfolk as women are the pillars of society and have control over customary land. In such a cultural context, the argument is that women are respected by all members of society.

But isn’t this a romanticised view of culture, especially in a post-conflict society like Bougainville?