When surveyed, 90% of women living in Port Moresby, PNG, reported that they had been physically or sexually assaulted, threatened or robbed while using public transport. Such high rates of violence prevented women from taking public buses to work, and kept children home from school, given no alternative safe transport options.
In response to this unacceptable violence, UN Women, in partnership with local community groups, and with the generous support from donors to UN Women National Committee Australia, introduced a women and children-only bus service in Port Moresby in 2015.
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. Over 1300 women are using this service each week.
In 2016 UN Women National Committee Australia was informed the second-hand buses used to kick-start the program were on their last legs and needed to be replaced. The Safe Buses crowdfunding campaign was launched in November 2016 and with overwhelming public support we exceeded our target and were able to purchase a new bus to keep this vital service running.
There are many ways you can support the on-going costs of this essential program: