Visit from UN Women PNG Country Manager reminds us women in neighbouring countries need our help

Executive Director Julie McKay speaks about the struggles our PNG neighbours face every day

In Port Moresby 87% of women report that they have been assaulted or sexually assaulted on buses in the last year. Mothers are keeping their daughters home from school because the risk of sexual assault on the way to school is too high. Companies are reluctant to hire women because their likelihood of getting assaulted on the way to or from work is too high.

Jeff Buchanan, UN Women’s PNG Country Manager was in Australia sharing the stories of women in PNG and the work of UN Women. I had the privilege of spending the day with Dr Buchanan, and I asked him – what’s next? What is the next thing we need to do to empower women in PNG? The answer – provide safe buses. UN Women is working to develop a model of ‘safe buses’ which will enable women and children to move around Port Moresby without the fear of violence.

I asked Dr Buchanan why he did what he did. His response was this: ‘Because they are our neighbours’. Full stop. End of story. For Jeff Buchanan, a man who has dedicated his life to development and challenging attitudes, it’s as simple as that.

The full article can be found at Women’s Agenda