PNG has one of the highest rates of violence against women in the world, with 2 in 3 women experiencing violence in their lifetime. UN Women is at the forefront, working with leaders to change policy and with grassroots groups, listening to women, to respond to their needs. The Meri Seif (Safe Bus) program provides an immediate solution to women’s transport challenges, giving women and children safe passage to and from school, work, the marketplace and hospitals.
The Sanap Wantaim program mobilises young people, teaching them to be advocates to end violence against women, to importantly change attitudes and behaviour to stop violence before it starts. Sanap Wantaim is about standing together, young men with young women, to create a new normal for PNG: one where women and girls can live their lives without fear of violence. Sanap Wantaim delivers a twelve-week training program, using sport and the arts to empower young people to speak out, and act out against violence. The youth advocates work in schools, organising debates, discussions and film screenings. They work in marketplaces, designing activities to make markets safer for women to work and make their daily purchases. They engage with community and faith groups through spoken word, music, dance, other art forms and sport to share messages of violence prevention and paint a picture of a hopeful future that together, people in PNG are committed to co-creating.
In the next 5 years, the Sanap Wantaim program aims to reach 2 million people across the country.