When surveyed, 90% of women reported that they had been physically or sexually assaulted, threatened or robbed on Port Moresby buses. Such high rates of violence have prevented women from taking public buses to work, and kept children home from school, given no alternative safe transport options.
To ensure safety to work and school, UN Women, in partnership with local community groups, and thanks in part to the generous support from donors to UN Women National Committee Australia, has introduced a women and children-only bus service.
While concurrently working on a range of long term, attitudinal change programs which challenge men’s perceptions of women and violence, this safe bus service promotes more equitable access to economic and educational opportunities – right now. The women’s only Meri Seif Bus has become a fixture on the road between Port Moresby and Gerehu. Over 1300 women are using this service each week. A second bus was introduced in February of 2016, allowing more women to travel safely.
UN Women’s safe buses service for women and children is new and over time will expand to enable even more women and children to move around Port Moresby without the fear of violence.
Learn more in UN Women’s scoping study on the provision of safe transit for women and children.