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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (October 19, 2000 - Papua New Guinea Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---Women are against the idea of legalizing prostitution in the country, says the president of the National Council of Women.

President Susan Setae said prostitution is demoralizing for women and the growing number of sex workers is of great concern.

She said women should do better things to support their families instead of selling their bodies for money.

"The council is against legalizing prostitution. It is not a good image for women. It is immoral and it makes women look like useless objects for men’s sexual pleasures," she said. "Women should do something better than giving their bodies away."

Kit Mawason, the vice president for PNG Christian Women of the PNG Churches Council, said legalizing prostitution would only cause a lot of destruction to good families.

Mrs. Mawason said if the country is not careful, the rate of HIV/AIDS would increase through sex work and finally wipe out families.

The representative to the council from the Evangelical Alliance Church, Josie Pandu-Kasi, said prostitution should not be legalized because it is against Christian beliefs.

"God created men and women to replenish the earth and we are supposed to look after our bodies. If women look after their bodies they will gain respect from the men. Prostitution is not good. It creates problems and also contributes to the easy spread of HIV/AIDS," Mrs. Pandu-Kasi said.

Council treasurer Au Aura said legalizing prostitution would bring about more problems.

"When prostitution is legalized, women will be demoralized. They will become sex objects and in the end they will also become objects of violence," she said.

Ms. Aura said it was sad to see so a high number of sex workers, adding there were better ways of earning income to sustain families.

She said one alternative would be for women to return to their villages and farm their land and fish from the seas to survive.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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