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Women's Empowerment in the PhilippinesThe Philippines has maintained its place among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of gender equality. To achieve women’s empowerment in the Philippines, the government adopted the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) was adopted in 2009. It seeks to end all discrimination and to promote the rights of women, as well as to establish the Philippines’ commitment to the principles of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women’s Committee and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The MCW’s agenda includes:

  1. Achieve fifty-fifty gender balance in government positions.
  2. Leave benefits and nondiscrimination in employment, especially in the military and police.
  3. Equal access in education and equal status.
  4. Nondiscriminatory and nonderogatory portrayal of women in media and films.
  5. Mandates review, amendment and repeal of existing discriminatory laws.

The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) is the oversight body on women’s concerns and acts as the catalyst for gender mainstreaming and the lead advocate of women’s empowerment in the Philippines. It works around focus areas such as Women’s Priority Legislative Agenda, gender-responsive governance, leadership and political participation, violence against women and women’s economic empowerment.

However, challenges still exist for the Philippines. Poverty and vulnerability of rural and indigenous women remain a pressing issue. Each day, 11 women die due to complications from pregnancy and childbirth, and many women still lack access to productive employment.

The Philippines is the only country in the world which does not allow for a divorce.  Other than the death of one’s partner, getting an annulment is the only option for dissolving a marriage. According to the Philippine Commission on Women, this can be done on grounds of “lack of parental consent; insanity/psychological incapacity; fraud, force, intimidation or undue influence; impotence; and sexually transmissible diseases.” The burden of a failed marriage often falls on the woman due to cultural stereotypes. Adopting divorce in the Philippines’ Family Code is essential to uplift the plight of women trapped in a marriage ridden with violence, abuse, oppression and deprivation, and to achieve women’s empowerment in the Philippines.

The Philippines also considers adultery and concubinage as criminal offenses against chastity and are drafted as well as implemented in a manner prejudicial to women. Many provisions of the Family Code give men more decision-making powers than women. Another blatant violation of human rights, Article 247 of the Revised Penal Code, exempts a husband or a parent who causes serious physical harm or death upon his wife or minor daughter if she has been caught portraying “unacceptable sexual behavior.”

Structural sexism remains the biggest obstacle to women’s empowerment in the Philippines. Even though there are many laws in place that score well on international measures, the implementation of these policies is slow and has not translated into gender parity in the largely patriarchal society.

-Tripti Sinha

Photo: Flickr

End Violence Against WomenThe United Nations has partnered with the European Union to create a program called Spotlight Initiative to end violence against women. Spotlight Initiative has received €500 million from the EU, an amount that U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres referred to as “unprecedented in scale.” The program is part of the U.N.’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pursues 17 facets of global development, including the elimination of global poverty and hunger.

The Spotlight Initiative’s main focus is on ending domestic violence, sexual violence, femicide, female circumcision, child and forced marriage, human trafficking and the exploitation of women. These problems are widespread throughout the world. 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced domestic and/or sexual abuse. 700 million women have undergone child marriage and 200 million have experienced genital mutilation. These acts come at a tremendous cost to the physical and mental well-being of women.

Violence against women also comes at a great cost to society at large. When societies suppress women with acts of violence and both institutional and de jure inequalities, they are deprived of the many contributions women bring to the world. Women’s contributions are so valuable that McKinsey Global Institute found that the world economy would be $12 trillion richer if every nation moved towards gender equality at a rate equal to its fastest-improving neighbor. Ending violence against women is not just in the best interest of humanity, it is also crucial for advancing global development.

Ending violence against women is a highly ambitious goal, but this is not the first time that the EU and the U.N. have made efforts to end forms of gender violence. The U.N. manages the Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, which has granted $116 million to 426 initiatives across the globe. The EU has been working with UNICEF and UNFPA to end female circumcision and child marriage in 16 African countries. Their efforts have put Senegal on track to become the first nation to completely abandon female genital mutilation, and Egypt and Sudan are seeing significant improvements as well.

The U.N. has touched on a few core areas of action for the Spotlight Initiative to end violence against women. In order to create long-term, sustainable developments in equality for women, social and political mobilization is essential, according to the U.N. When women are more politically active, nations are more likely to pass laws protecting the rights of women. Educational programs, community-organized events and awareness campaigns are also needed to shift cultural norms surrounding violence against women. Policies directed at empowering the financial independence of women will be significant in enabling women to leave physically and sexually abusive relationships as well.

Though the issue of ending violence against women is a daunting one, the amount of funding the Spotlight Initiative has drawn in and the wide scope of the initiative brings hope that the world will see major advancements in the global rights of women by 2030.

Carson Hughes

Photo: Flickr

mobile applications

Dharavi is Asia’s largest slum and is located in the middle of Mumbai, India’s financial capital. The slum is home to nearly a million people. Within that population, teenage girls have been learning how to code in order to develop mobile applications that can help tackle different problems within their community.

Filmmaker Nawneet Ranjan founded the Dharavi Diary project, which teaches young girls in the slum to code. With this skill, the girls can then develop mobile applications that aim to combat everyday issues  including “sexual harassment, access to water and education.”

Using the MIT App Inventor, online video instruction, documentary films and Powerpoint presentations, Ranjan and the Dharavi Diary project team teaches girls between the ages eight and 16, the basics of coding.

Ranjan first became involved in working with the Dharavi community after he made a film titled Dharavi Diary in 2012. The film documented issues faced by the slum’s residents.

He then set up a small computer lab in 2014, with the goal of encouraging young girls to become changemakers. The result of their involvement in the program can ultimately lead them to better education and more employment opportunities.

“A lot of girls in the neighbourhood don’t get the chance to use computers and laptops,” Ranjan told Mashable. “I showed them how technology can be used to solve problems and improve their job opportunities. I told them that these were things that they could learn on their own.”

The project experienced a setback when the slum was destroyed by a fire on Jan. 4, 2016, destroying tablets and computers as well as the homes of over 50 families in the neighborhood.

However, through a new crowd-funding campaign, Ranjan hopes to raise more resources to buy more computers, laptops, and food and clothing for the children.

One app that a group of girls developed, for example, is called Paani, which alerts residents of the slum when they collect water from the community tap. This allows members of the community to avoid waiting in long lines for the water every day.

In a country where access to clean water is a luxury, the responsibility of collecting water often falls on girls, who consequently must miss school as a result of waiting hours for the essential resource.

Another Android App, Women Fight Back, focuses on women’s safety. Its features include SMS alerts, a distress alarm and emergency calls to contacts on their phones, according to Business Insider.

“When we joined the program we decided first to look at the problems that our neighborhood and community faced, and then build apps to address them,” said Ansuja Madiwal, a 15-year-old girl, in an interview with The Hindu.

“In a small way, initiatives like this help in giving people a greater sense of participation and an awareness of the problems that they face and how they can devote resources to solving them,” said Ranjan.

Michelle Simon

Orange_the_worldPrevention was the central theme of the 2015 UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign. From the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women to Human Rights (November 25 – December 10), UNiTE called on people worldwide to “orange the world” for a brighter future without violence.

At the campaign’s official commemoration in New York, the United Nations (U.N.) presented the very first U.N. Framework on Preventing Violence Against Women. The document recognizes violence against women as not only a public health concern but also a breach of basic human rights. Women, according to the document, have a right to “physical integrity, agency, and autonomy”. These rights, according to the framework, lay at the crux of prevention efforts.

The proposed framework outlines a multi-level approach, discussing methods to prevent violence before it occurs, the recurrence of violence and the negative repercussions of violence against women. Perhaps most importantly, the document recognizes intervention must be informed by the particular social structure, culture and norms of a given setting.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 35 percent of women across the globe have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. Violence against women has also been shown to increase the likelihood for homelessness, unemployment and depression.

Orange the World was in line with goal five of the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) launched this past September, “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. The campaign also linked up specifically with target two, which seeks “[to eliminate] all forms of violence against women and girls” by 2030.

Prevention of violence against women may also be vital to the attainment of other SDGs. WHO, for instance, cites lower levels of education as a risk factor connected to sexual violence perpetration. Achieving goal four of the SDGs, which looks to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education”, could alleviate this risk.

Addressing violence against women is also necessary to the fight against poverty, the World Bank said. Ede Ijjasz -Velasquez, Senior Director at the World Bank, said violence against women “has very important economic consequences” that could negatively impact any given nation.

Geraldine Terry, a research associate at the University of East Anglia, also found “[poverty] and violence against women interact in complex cycles of causality.” Poverty can lead to violence against women, and violence against women can also play a causal role in poverty.

Over 70 countries participated in Orange the World. Major world landmarks such as Niagara Falls (Ontario, Canada/New York) and the Palais de Justice (the Democratic Republic of the Congo) were lit up in orange to honor the campaign.

Jocelyn Lim

Sources: U.N. Women, Geraldine Terry, “Poverty reduction and violence against women: exploring links, assessing impacts,” , U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, U.N. Women 2, World Bank, WHO
Photo: Google Images

Red Cards to Stop Rape - The Borgen Project
Sexual violence can be addressed by two different questions:

1. How can we empower women to prevent sexual violence?

2. How can we empower men to change their attitudes and practices related to sexual violence?

Programs often tend to focus on addressing one question or the other. However, research organizations, such as the International Center for Research on Women, support both methods.

FHI 360, Family Health International, cites international data indicating, “one in three women worldwide experience physical and/or sexual violence by a partner or sexual violence by a non-partner in their lifetimes.”

The red card program has been used in Ethiopia and South Africa to address the first question of female empowerment.

When women attempt to avoid unwanted violence or contact from men, the word “no” often does not work. A comprehensive study by the ICRW indicates that the high prevalence of rape in Croatia, Mexico, Chile, Rwanda, and India is partially due to the fact that for some men, “no means yes”.

The red card programs train young women to be assertive in preventing unwanted sexual behavior from men. The analogy of the red card in soccer is used because both men and women associate the red card with the notion to stop some kind of action. Young women are provided with actual red cards that can help them be more assertive when they want to say “no” to unwanted behavior. Of course, “no” should mean “no,” and sexual violence can never be justified by a lack of “prevention” on the part of the victim. The only way to end rape is to have rapists stop raping.

The idea is that because the word “no” often does not work, the action of displaying the red card can be more effective. In Ethiopia, about half of the students who received training on the red card program have used it to “say no to sugar daddies, to abusive professors, to avoid violence, to refuse alcohol and other substances, and to insist on condom use.”

In South Africa, the program was implemented through Sonke Gender Justice Network, Grassroots Soccer and other NGOs. Mass media forms such as television and radio were used to target many people. Over 1,000 people completed the red card training with Sonke and over 12,000 people completed the program with Grassroots Soccer.

While the red card programs are innovative approaches to provide women with the power to avoid unwanted behavior in the immediate time, the ultimate goal would be for “no” to actually mean “no,” and for men to recognize and respect this. This is why institutions such as ICRW also support research and programs that will change the attitudes and practices of men.

– Iliana Lang

Sources: FHI 360 1, FHI 360 2, HCRW Publications, Africa Entertainment,
Photo: FHI 360

dowry_killings
A dowry is the money or property that a woman brings to her husband’s family at the time of their marriage. Traditionally, dowries in India were meant to ensure that the bride was financially secure after her marriage and was seen as a type of inheritance from the bride’s parents to the bride. However, when the British colonized India, this changed. Heavy taxes meant that many families who had sons began to rely on the bride’s dowry for survival, and the husband’s family began to extort more and more money from the bride’s family.  Providing a dowry was officially made illegal in India in 1961 with the establishment of the Dowry Prohibition Act, but many families among all social classes continue the practice of giving a dowry today. Dowry killings are when a wife is killed because her parents are unable to fulfill all of the demands of the husband’s family, and these killings are unfortunately extremely common.

In 2012, 8,233 women were killed in dowry-related deaths. While the number of these deaths declined from 2011, when 8,618 women were killed over dowry disagreements, the number of abuse cases related to dowry — when a husband and in-laws abuse a bride because her parents fail to pay a “sufficient” dowry — rose from 99,135 cases in 2011 to 106,527 cases in 2012.

In the 1990s, dowry killings were not very common, with about 300 killings per year. However, with the rise of consumerism in India, dowry killings have increased. Now, goods and appliances that were originally scarce have become more widely available, prompting a wave of greed and increasing the demand for dowry. Families that previously could not have dreamed of being able to afford goods such as cars are now within reach of being able to buy one, and they rely on the bride who marries their son to help them fulfill their consumption desires.

Pravartika Gupta and her one-year-old daughter were killed by her in-laws in 2012 because Gupta’s parents were unable to afford the 15,000 pounds, Honda City car and new apartment that had been demanded as a dowry. Gupta’s case is unfortunately not unique. In 2014, 22-year-old Annu Devi and her one-year-old daughter were burned to death by Devi’s husband and in-laws because her parents were unable to pay the dowry demanded. Many in-laws continue to demand more and more dowry even in the years after their son is married, claiming that the dowry will be used to provide for children and pay living expenses throughout the years. Around 80% of bank loans in India are taken in order to meet dowry-related demands.

Dowry is also the reason for the high levels of female feticide in India. Parents kill their female babies in the womb because they do not want to spend their whole lives saving money to pay for their daughter’s dowry. This has led to a skewed gender ratio in India, where there are 933 girls per 1,000 boys.

In 2012, charges were brought in 94% of dowry-related death cases, but only 32% of cases led to convictions. Many husbands and in-laws claim that dowry-related deaths were suicides in order to escape conviction. Parents of the bride are also sometimes reluctant to bring charges against the husband’s family because they do not want to ruin their other daughters’ chances of marriage.

India has one of the fastest-growing middle classes in the world, and it has had a female president and a female prime minister. It is now common for women in India to have impressive careers. However, India still ranks as the world’s fourth most dangerous country for a woman. If India wishes to really advance, it needs to ensure that harmful practices such as dowries are not just legally unacceptable, they are also socially unacceptable.

– Ashrita Rau

Sources: International Policy Digest, CNN, The Guardian, LA Times, Telegraph
Photo:The Daily Beast

The Life of Women in AfghanistanIn 2011, Newsweek and The Daily Beast published a list of countries, titled “Best Countries for Women,” that ranked the living conditions for women in various parts of the world. Out of 165 countries analyzed, Afghanistan ranked second-to-last at 164th.

Afghanistan is well known for its cultural and religious mistreatment of women. During the height of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, fundamentalists in accord with a strict interpretation of Islam implemented a wide array of behavioral laws against Afghan women.

According to the Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), woman could be criminalized for working outside of the home, participating in any activity outside of the home (unless accompanied by a mahram, or a male relative), not wearing a burqa, wearing heels or makeup, laughing loudly, being photographed or filmed, playing sports, riding unaccompanied in a taxi, riding on a bicycle or motorcycle, looking at strangers, appearing on the balcony of her own home, receiving medical treatment from a male doctor and being educated, among others.

These regulations seriously constrain the personal freedoms of women in domestic and social realms of interaction. Women who violate or are even accused of violating these strict rules are subject to lashes, public stoning and other cruel policing tactics. Fear is used as a control mechanism to suppress women’s voices and actions on a daily basis. In Afghanistan, each woman must choose between expressing her free will and being violently punished for doing so.

Afghan women activists who try to rebel against this unfair treatment are often threatened with death in order to suppress their voices. Human Rights Watch reported in 2015, “Other setbacks for women’s rights in 2014 included a continuing series of attacks on, threats toward, and assassinations of, high-profile women, including police women and activists, to which the government failed to respond with meaningful measures to protect women at risk. The implementation by law enforcement officials of Afghanistan’s landmark 2009 Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women remained poor, with many cases of violence against women ignored or resolved through ‘mediation’ that denied victims their day in court.”

Women for Women International is one of several organizations working to help women suffering from abuse, marginalization, poverty and lack of human rights due to war and conflict in Afghanistan.

They state on their website, “Decades of violence in Afghanistan have left millions of women and girls displaced or widowed. Common discriminatory practices, amplified by extremist groups, often make it dangerous for women to seek education, healthcare services, employment, or, in some cases, even to leave their homes.”

The Afghan Women’s Mission, founded in 2000, is another such organization created to support the humanitarian and political efforts of RAWA. Their website states, “Projects include many programs run by Afghan women including Malalai Clinic, schools, orphanages, agricultural programs, demonstrations and functions in support of women’s and human rights. We are an all-volunteer organization based in the United States.”

Despite the noble efforts of organizations like these, the situation remains virtually the same since the Taliban regime. Just earlier this year, the violent burning and murder of several women’s rights activists in Afghanistan shocked the world. If the situation for women is ever going to get better, meaningful reform needs to happen now.

– Hanna Darroll

Sources: Afghan Women Mission, Trust in Education, Scribd, Women for Women, Human Rights Watch,
Photo: RT

women_in_bangladesh

Bangladesh is a small South Asian country which borders India, Myanmar, and the Bay of Bengal. Since it gained independence in 1971, Bangladesh’s economy has been growing about 6% annually. However, while the economy in Bangladesh is becoming more progressive, socially, Bangladesh still has room for advancement. Patriarchal customs mean that many women in Bangladesh face threats of violence.

Some main acts of violence committed against women include dowry killings, rape, sexual harassment and stalking, acid attacks, physical and mental abuse and sex trafficking. Nearly two out of every three women in Bangladesh are victims of some form of violence.

Gender based violence is on the rise. In 2004, there were 2,981 cases of dowry related violence; women are beaten or killed because their parents fail to pay the dowry that her in-laws request. This number rose to 4,563 cases in 2012.

Gender discrimination also leads to women having less opportunities. The literacy rate for women in Bangladesh is only 43.2%, while 61.0% of Bangladeshi men are literate. The unemployment rate for women is 70.7%, much higher than the 12.4% unemployment rate for men. Even though many women help in the agricultural sector, 73% of those women contribute what is considered as unpaid ‘family labor’ and do not receive a salary. This is problematic because even if women work for their family, patriarchal values dictate that many of the women are not given control of the property or the family income, and therefore the women are not able to spend the money they earn as they see fit.

Many women in Bangladesh fail to report violence committed against them because there persists a stigma surrounding rape, abuse, and domestic violence in the country. The police are also likely to blame the victim and favor the side of the abuser. From 2010 to 2012, the Bangladeshi police received 109,621 complaints about violence against women. However, the police determined that only 6,875 of these complaints were ‘genuine’ and should be further investigated. The inspector-general of police, who is responsible for investigating crimes involving violence against women, told the Inter Press Service news agency that “On many occasions . . . the law was used to harass the accused. It does seem that not all complaints are genuine”.

The stigma surrounding violence against women means that many women do not get the justice they deserve. In 2011, there were 420 recorded cases of rape in Bangladesh, and only 286 reached the prosecution stage.

Luckily, there are laws and programs being implemented to help reduce the amount of gender based violence that is taking place in Bangladesh. A joint program with the UN has instituted a three-tier strategy to help reduce this violence. The first part of the UN’s program is designed to enhance the capacities of the government and to support NGO’s in order to help prevent violence against women and protect victims. The program also aims to protect survivors of violence and to change social attitudes, which lead to much gender based violence.

Some important achievements of the UN’s program have been increased access to healthcare for women, a decrease in the rate of child-marriages and dowry-killings and more awareness about the lesser-known forms of gender based violence, such as sexual harassment in the workplace.

There are also specific laws which have been instituted by the Bangladeshi government in an effort to prevent violence against women. Some of these laws include the 2010 Domestic Violence Act and the 2000 Suppression of Violence against Women and Children Act.

The 2010 Domestic Violence Act criminalizes domestic violence. This was a landmark act because many Bangladeshi women face cruelty by their husbands. A 2007 report stated that 53% of married women in Bangladesh were physically and/or sexually abused by their husbands. If the court deems that domestic violence is likely to occur, it can either relocate the victim to a shelter or evict the perpetrator of the violence.

The Suppression of Violence against Women and Children act was passed in 2000 and makes clear that there will be harsh punishment for those convicted for committing violent crimes. The law targets rape, trafficking, and kidnapping.

Though legislation is an important step toward ending violence against women in Bangladesh, in order for significant change to occur, societal attitudes must change in order to end the stigma and victim-blaming that women face when they report violence carried out against them.

– Ashrita Rau

Sources: MDG Achievement Fund, IPS News Odhikar, Department of Women’s Affairs, Bangladesh UN, CIA CIA World Factbook, OHCHR
Photo: Women Deliver

domestic_violence_on_a_global_scale
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 25 percent of women and 8 percent of men have been raped and/or physically assaulted by a spouse, friend or acquaintance. This means that “each year about 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner.”This issue is severely under-recognized. The National Association of Social Workers does its part to both prevent and find solutions for domestic violence.

Social workers are directly involved with victims, whether it be through counseling individuals, aiding in the judicial process or finding new homes for those abused. The issue of domestic violence exists outside of the U.S. There are countless foundations all over the world aimed at providing a support system to those affected by domestic violence. For example, the Global Foundation to Eliminate Global Violence (GFEGV) is a nonprofit aimed to both eliminate domestic violence and to support those who have already been claimed as a sufferer. Trying to escape the throngs of violence can be the hardest part for most victims, who may either rely on their abuser for financial stability or may have emotional ties to them. Having the courage to escape can often result in not only loneliness, but also poverty. According to the GFEGV’s website, the annual cost of health-related domestic violence issues in the U.K. is $23 billion. In the U.K., one in four women will be abused, while men have a one in six risk.World Bank data reports that “women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria.”Here are some quick facts from the U.N.’s UNITE website about domestic violence:

  • In South Africa, a woman is killed every six hours by an intimate partner.
  • In India, 22 women were killed each day in dowry-related murders in 2007.
  • In Guatemala, two women are murdered, on average, each day.
  • In the U.S., one-third of women murdered each year are killed by intimate partners.

The dowry-related murders mentioned above involve the murdering of a new wife, or wife-to-be, if she fails to meet the dowry requirements of her husband’s family. It is a practice that occurs in various cultures worldwide.

Donating money to organizations and becoming educated is important to improving and ultimately eliminating domestic violence worldwide.

Kathleen Lee

Sources: National Association of Social Workers, EDV, UNiTE
Photo: Trade Arabia

Women in Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is an island in the South Pacific located just north of Australia, with a population of around 7 million. It is a developing country, ranking 156 out of 187 countries on the UN Human Development Index. 


Papua New Guinea suffers—like most developing nations—from high levels of poverty and corruption within the government due to vast oil and gas reserves.

But Papua New Guinea doesn’t simply have to deal with the normal problems of a developing country. Sadly, in recent years this island nation has become known for rampant and increasing violence against women.

It has been reported that 68 percent of PNG women suffer from violence. What is worse is that one in three women have reportedly been raped. As with most rape statistics, that number is often low, as many women who have been raped do not report it.

Violence against women in Papua New Guinea is not always of a sexual nature. Women are often accused of sorcery, and violence is used as retribution. In February 2013, there was a highly publicized case of a 20-year old woman accused of sorcery. As punishment, she was burned alive. 

Domestic violence seems to be the most prevalent form. It is often the result of the male’s desire to assert authority over his female partner because he may perceive that she is acting insubordinate or lazy. 

Amnesty International states that this type of violence “includes rape, being burnt with hot irons, broken bones and fractures, kicking and punching and cutting with bush knives.”

There have been some attempts by the government to deal with this issue. In April of last year, the 1971 Sorcery Act, which criminalized sorcery, was repealed.

In September 2013, the parliament in PNG passed the Family Protection Bill, which made domestic violence illegal. 

However, many women still do not know of the existence of this law, and implementation has been difficult and not very far reaching. The same is true of the sorcery law, which is in the appeals process and does not change the pervasive cultural view of the existence of sorcery.

Women’s groups from within and outside PNG continue to try and spread awareness of this issue and work on programs that attempt to eradicate these grave human rights violations.

Statistics and research on this subject are hard to find though. Women’s rights groups have a difficult time funding further research because no raw data exists. Papua New Guinea is low on the international radar.

Awareness and further research on this issue is needed in order to help the women of Papua New Guinea escape this terrible cycle of violence.

– Eleni Marino

Sources: Child Fund, Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, Islands Business, Human Development Report, United Nations,
Photo: ABCNews