Rates of family and sexual violence in Papua New Guinea are among the highest in the world, with 70% of women experiencing some degree of physical or sexual assault in their lifetime. Children are also significantly affected. While much is said about the levels of violence, less is heard about important work being done in all sectors of Papua New Guinea to address this pervasive issue. The new approaches being taken warrant broader attention both within and outside of Papua New Guinea.
On 20 May, the Lowy Institute hosted a panel of exceptional leaders from Papua New Guinea’s government, civil society and private sector to discuss these approaches.
Anna Solomon is the Secretary for Papua New Guinea’s Department for Community Development and Religion and is leading the government’s response. Denga Ilave is the Operations Manager for Femili PNG, the Papua New Guinean NGO that runs the innovative Lae Case Management Centre. Kymberley Kepore is CEO of the Oil Search Foundation, which has made gender-based violence one of its top priorities. Kevin Byrne is the Deputy Chair of the Business Coalition for Women, a group of companies and corporate leaders who are working together to drive positive change for women and businesses in Papua New Guinea.