Call for action against violence against women and girls
Distinguished Guest, ladies and Gentlemen.
Thank you for accepting our call to be here today to join me, the Board and Management of the Commission to heed this call for action against violence against women citywide.
Violence is destroying our city and our country. It is destroying our lives so we need to STOP it. I thank each and every one of you for hearing my call to action and turning up today, not just in numbers but in RED. RED means danger and RED means Stop it. Violence is dangerous. It has to stop and it must start with each and every one of us here today and more particularly, with you all leaders. It teaches us to take leadership and today, I am taking leadership as Governor of our capital city citywide.
This important call against violence is to everyone but especially to all of you who are here today, leaders in your own right in your organisations because you have the power in your space to do something about it. To take some of form action against this very important cause.
The campaign against violence is everyone’s fight. If we win this campaign against violence, the result and benefit is also to everyone’s win. We are rallying everyone here today to this CALL FOR ACTION is because NOW, it’s not the time to talk about it, to create awareness or to paint gory images educating people. The cost of violence is prevalent already before our eyes.
This is time to ACTION. Action to do whatever it takes in our power to END violence in our city and our country against all forms of violence, especially violence against women and girls.
We all know that violence is destroying the soul of our people and our nation.
We all know violence retards or hinders our potential for growth.
We all know that violence affects our economy.
We all know that violence does not solve anything and only cause more pain, loss and destruction.
We all know that Port Moresby has suffered bad image globally due to violence.
We all know that violence affects the quality of our lives especially of women and girls.
Yet despite all our effort and advocacy, vio- lence has not subsided or reduced. It has in fact increase both in frequency and intensity. Today, This is a CALL to ACTION. I am happy we have the police here so we can hear about how they can take action in the police force, the hospital, the representatives from the business houses, Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce, Principals from schools in NCD, NGO’s, United Nations and Civil Societies, Churches, Media Council and everyone. I know we have been tirelessly working on this subject in our own little way, but we need to acknowledge, violence has not reduced espe- cially against women and girls. We have gender sensation programs, behaviour change, skills training, human rights defenders, safe markets, safe city but it is time we do more, let’s do more TOGETHER.
This is particularly an important month, as the 20 Days of Activism against violence is in this month and EVAU - The International Day to End Violence against women is on this 24th. NGOs and those in the agencies have come up with many activities to use this month to shout out even more on this work. The Active City team have adopted the REDVEMBER - where throughout the entire month of November, the walkers will wear red and many more activities have been organised to keep creating an aware-ness on this message.
But, ladies and gentlemen, we have to do MORE. This is a CALL For ACTION for us to visibly do more together. Let’s use this month, offices wear red, schools, people in the streets, police, put up flags, anything to say we have had enough. Police tighten on enforcement to perpetrators. Safe houses, eradicate repeat cases, hospitals report on cases, collect data, use action. We need to multiply our efforts to take action against violence. What we have been doing up to now is sadly not enough, inadequate and ineffective.
As Governor of our Capital City and a Member for Parliament for some 13 years, I know that only through a well-orchestrated strategy and a combination of all our efforts together with all stakeholders in the city, we can end this scourge that it’s destroying our people and our nation. I want all of us here, Government Department, Corporate and Business houses, Churches and NGOs, schools, colleges and Universities, Media, women and youth groups, villages, communities and suburbs in our City to multiply our effort. We need to do more! And the time is NOW. Our Prime Minister, Hon James Marape has made it clear that he want law and order in this country to cease.
He said by 2025 when and if he exit politics, and if our mothers and daughters can walk freely at mid-night in Boroko without harassment, fear or intimidation, then he will the happiest man and he would have done his job.
Let’s make that dream come true sooner. We don’t have to wait for 2025. A society free of violence, harassment and fear is everyone’s right. We can’t take away this right from our women and our girls. Let’s all wear red this month to show and make a loud statement that violence is dangerous and must be stopped. And it’s also as a symbol that we have had enough. Let the news be loud tomorrow., that our Capital City, Port Moresby, and I as the the Governor, is Calling for Action to End Violence Against Women and Girls. Distinguished guest ladies and gentlemen.
I salute you all for all we have done in the course of this year. We must not relent. We must not give up and loose hope. We must escalate our effort and make a substantive difference. I am calling the entire city to RISE up against violence. Let’s be the change we want in our city and our nation. This is my CALL and I plead to all our people in this City, let this month be a red month to amplify this call at the same time sustain and lift our actions in the next 12 months in unity as one City. As one people with one future. God bless Amazing Port Moresby.