Let’s talk about violence against women

MICHAEL KABUNI
Academia Nomad | Edited Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG Attitude 13 May 2021

‘Police have arrested a man who allegedly killed his wife, 10 years his junior. The man told police, “I killed my wife. I know I am in trouble”. Police found the body of the wife, Imelda Tupi, wrapped in blue canvas in the back of a vehicle belonging to the husband. Her father, Tupi Tiamanda, said Imelda had married a doctor’ – The National

Imelda Tupi (Gloria Dara)

PORT MORESBY – I’m writing this from my heart… appealing to my brothers, uncles, students, male colleagues and men of Papua New Guinea to respect women, and value their lives.

I’m writing this piece after reading how a professional PNG man, a doctor, killed his wife, wrapped her in a canvas and was on his way to dump her remains when police, conducting routine checks, discovered her.

This comes after two women were tortured right here in the heart of PNG’s capital – Port Moresby.

Violence against women is supposed to be illegal, uncivilised, and sinful.

But it’s obvious – starting from villages where men burn women in the name of sorcery, to settlements and cities, to professional men – that in every strata men are guilty of perpetuating violence and murder against women.

This afternoon I felt that something within me died. I have a passion for research. I write articles on the politics of PNG. But now I feel like I’ve been writing about things that don’t really matter.

What good is all the analysis and debate, if women are raped, tortured and murdered each week? What good is education if doctors kill women? What good is development when women are tortured in the capital of our city?

It all means nothing guys, if we continue to kill our own kind.

Where on God’s green earth can I find a justification for the violence perpetrated against our own kind?

How can we – in an era where we send and receive messages in an instant, conduct lectures and conferences online, have breakfast in Wewak and have dinner in Daru the same evening – still perpetuate something as primitive as torturing women?

How can we have 97% professed Christians in PNG and still take the life of our women in cold blooded murder?

Can we all please stop and have a serious conversation about the plight of women?

It’s about time men had a serious conversation about violence against women.

It’s not an UN Women’s issue. It’s not a women group issue. It’s not an NGO issue. It’s not a donor country’s issue. It’s a Papua New Guinean issue.

And when we have a serious issue in our villages and clans and tribes….men talk.

PNG men, let’s talk about violence against our women. Let’s end this.

The plight of women must be discussed in the halls of Haus Man. It is a serious matter.

Pastors using the pulpit, preach that wife bashing is wrong. It’s a sin.

Lecturers and teachers, condemn it in class.

Young men, tell your peers it’s wrong to raise your hands against women.

Chiefs, tell your tribe to respect woman.

The conversation must enter the sacred halls of Haus Man.

We must all rise up. Seriously there is no justification to raise your hand against any woman.

If you don’t want her, please let her go. Don’t kill her. She’s someone else’s daughter, grand-daughter, sister, mother….

Make it personal. Say no to violence against women.

I pray to God that we will know and value human life. That we can live in peace.

Yumi kilim yumi yet ya. Displa pasin mas stop.

Melanesian Men, Say No To Violence Against Women!

Published by Ples Singsing

Ples Singsing is envisioned to be a new platform for Papua Niuginian expressions of creativity, ingenuity and originality in art and culture. We deliberately highlight these two very broad themes as they can encompass the diverse subjects, from technology, medicine and architecture to linguistics, music, fishing, gardening et cetera. Papua Niuginian ways of thinking, living, believing, communicating, dying and so on can cover the gamut of academic, journalistic or opinionated writing and we believe that unless we give ourselves a platform to talk about and discuss these things in an open, free and non-exclusively academic space that they may remain the fodder for academics, journalists and other types of writers alone. New social media platforms have given every individual a personal space to share their feelings and ideas openly, sometimes without immediate censure. The Ples Singsing writer’s blog would like to provide another more structured platform for Papua Niuginian expressions in written, visual and audio formats while also providing some regulation of the type and content of materials to be shared publicly.

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