On 14-15 May 2013, thousands of women and men in Port Moresby stood together against violence in Papua New Guinea at a National Haus Krai, or mourning ceremony, held at the Sir John Guise Stadium. The event was organised by a group called Women Arise PNG as a call to government to take action following the growing number of violent attacks on women and young girls across the country.
In the lead up to the Haus Krai, people were calling for the government to introduce the death penalty as a punishment for rape, murder and other white-collar crimes, however after much discussion and thought, women and men alike have appeared to have changed their tunes and do not think that the death penalty is the answer.
Stella left the event with a strong impression that everyone simply wants a better future for their children. Many young women voiced that there are a number of social issues that lead to high rates of violence against women, and while the government must address these in order for us to move forward as a nation, each of us can do our part to bring about change.
This was a monumental first step towards positive change in Papua New Guinea. We have a long way to go but we are keen.