The PNG Man Up initiative is a call to action for all men in PNG who share the same concerns in taking a stand against gender based violence (GBV) and domestic violence (DV). A call to recognise that over the years there have been several high-profile cases including countless others that have come and gone without any form of justice for the victims.
The vigil which took place yesterday evening (Thursday 2 July 2020) at the Sir John Guise indoor complex in Port Moresby, was to call on men to take the lead in advocating for tougher punishment to be served to all perpetrators, starting with setting a precedent for the latest victim of GBV, Jenelyn Kennedy, in ensuring justice is served appropriately.
The turnout was overwhelming with mothers and daughters taking the front line amidst the support of young men. A peaceful march during the day to show solidarity in the tragic death of a young and venerable mother and daughter and a unified cry from a nation clearly aware of Gender Based and Domestic Violence happening in PNG homes.
The Prime Minister Hon James Marape and NCD Governor Hon Powes Parkop were amongst the speakers showing their support. Also in attendance were other MPs, businesses houses and prominent personalities showing their support for action and justice.
With SOE protocols still in place, an evening vigil could only accommodate a certain number but that didn’t dishearten the spirit of advocacy, with the hundreds attending the event to support the push to ensure an effective system is put in place, laws are enforced and implemented, and harsher penalties introduced.
The overflow crowd outside shared testimonies and held a minute of silence for all victims of GBV and DV. The event was a show of unity from all walks of life and a call to action in the safety and well-being of women and children.