Australian Think Tank: PNG Women Face Extreme Challenges

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Need better access to justice system

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 29, 2014) – The Australian think tank, the Lowy Institute, says women in Papua New Guinea continue to face extreme challenges, including gaining access to the justice system.

The institute has just held a panel discussion to highlight the range of issues Pacific women encounter, particularly in PNG.

Its programme director for Melanesia, Jenny Hayward-Jones, says international partners such as Australia and New Zealand could provide more support, especially when it comes to improving PNG's justice system.

"One of the big problems identified was that women had to report to hospitals basically with the husband who bashed them in tow, so there was no getting away from the perpetrators which is a huge problem and one that wasn't going to be resolved quickly."

Jenny Hayward-Jones says a 2013 Medecins Sans Frontieres study found 70 per cent of PNG women will be raped or assaulted in their lifetime.

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