BY JENNIFER NKUI
Women in Bougainville came together today to commemorate ‘White Ribbon Day’ and also to make their stance against ‘Violence against Women and Girls’.
The day’s programme started this morning at around 8:30am with a white ribbon breakfast at the Kuri Village Resort in Buka Town and a march from the resort through the streets of Buka Town to the Bel Isi Park where the official programme to commemorate the day was held.
The march against violence against women was led by the three women members of the ABG House of Representatives, the ABG health minister Rose Pihei, member representing the women of North Bougainville Elizabeth Burain and member representing the women of Central Bougainville Joan Jerome. Present also for the day’s celebrations were Emily, Charley and Jeffery from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hona Holan from the Bougainville Women’s Federation, Agnes Titus form UN Women, 22 male inmates from Bekut Correctional Institute, Bougainville Police Service personnel’s, staff from the law and justice sector and the general public.
As the first speaker of the day, Agnes Titus explained that the gathering together of both men and women today is purposely to act and campaign against the big common issue of violence against women and children. After recalling all the Bougainville women who have died as a result of violence, Mrs. Titus stressed that violence against girls and women is common in the region because women are not being respected by their male counterparts.
She added that currently in Bougainville, we have only three women members in the ABG House of Representatives but as women, we want more women in parliament because with more women in parliament, they can be able to look more at issues affecting women and also make laws to protect women as there is injustice going on everywhere.
When concluding her speech, Mrs. Titus stressed that Bougainville men should come forward and wear the white ribbon and make their commitment to be advocates against ‘Violence against Women and Girls’ in Bougainville.