top of page


Population size:  18 million Education: For a long period of time, the percentage of females attending all levels of schooling was higher than their male counterparts. However, since 2012, this percentage has been decreasing as female enrolment in school is lessening. 2022: 106 is the ratio of girls to boys in secondary school. Economy: There is a strong gendered division of labour between men and women - women do farming and collecting of shellfish and men are participants in wage labour. Parliament: 2022: 6.25% of MPs are women. Despite being a matrilineal country, women’s representation in the national Congress has been limited. Before 2008, there were no female members of Congress. 2013: 3 female senators elected. 2016: 13 female candidates (out of 64) stood in the national elections for Congress. Following this, four women were elected into Congress. Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year: Ever-partnered women aged 15-64 reported Women who have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime at 25%. Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence in the last 12 months against women reported at 8% No research on male victims or other gender identities. Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year: No research. Estimated % change due to COVID-19: No research. Current law and policy: Palau signed (in 2011) but did not ratify the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. The country has taken steps to address domestic violence and passed the Family Protection Act in 2012. The Act criminalises domestic violence, institutes a no-drop policy for domestic violence (once a victim calls it will follow due process) and stipulates that customary restitution for domestic violence cases does not go away with criminal charges for domestic violence. The Act (2012) provides a broad definition of domestic violence, makes protection orders accessible and highlights the need for the establishment and coordination between services for survivors of violence. More specifically, the Act expands on and strengthens the ability of police officers to assist family violence victims and outlines legal penalties. There are several important areas that are not addressed in the FPA: the definition of rape is limited to sexual intercourse and spousal rape is still exempt from prosecution. As of 2016, although numerous protection measures were outlined in the Family Protection Act no protection measures were in place, specifically shelters and other services to support victims and especially those for women and children survivors. As such the UN Country Team encouraged the Government to establish protection services for survivors of domestic violence and child abuse.PAPUA NEW GUINEA Population size:  2020: 8.9 million 2021: 48.9% women Education: Only 73% of primary school aged and 30% of secondary school aged girls attend school. Most schools lack equipment, teachers receive inadequate training but most classrooms are overstuffed. Boys are more likely to enrol in school than their female counterparts. The gap is 0.91% for primary school education and 0.76% for secondary school education. Reasons for this gap include child/ early marriage and assault/ rape. Economy: 2017: only 24% of women hold jobs compared to 40% for men. The country is seen as one of the most dangerous places to be a woman. Due to this, women are more likely to miss work and leave their jobs. Parliament: 2022: the country had its 11th national election. Out of 3619 candidates, only 169 were women (5%). Two of them were successful. Domestic Violence: 2014: 68% of women suffer from violence. 1 in 3 have also reportedly been raped. 2018: 30.6% of women aged between 15 and 49 reported that they had been subject to physical and/ or sexual violence by a current/ former partner in the previous 12 months. There are a lack of services to support women. 86% of women have been beaten during pregnancy. Girls and women are seen as commodities used in exchange for money, gifts and to resolve tribal disputes. No research on male victims or other gender identities. Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year: No research. Estimated % change due to COVID-19: Police Minister Bryan Kramer:" said 647 cases of domestic violence were reported in Port Moresby in June alone" [3] Current law and policy: The Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government announce concrete steps to end violence against women and girls. The Government of Papua New Guinea notes that all forms of violence against women and girls are a violation of their human rights. The Minister for Police in Papua New Guinea commits to support and enforce laws to bring perpetrators of violence against women and girls to justice; enhance access to justice for survivors by resourcing the sexual violence unit within the police force with referrals to legal and specialized services; and train providers of frontline services within the police force to ensure that they follow quality standards and protocols in dealing with sexual violence offences. Furthermore, the Minister for Police pledges to support the passing of the Family Protection Bill (also referred to as the Domestic Violence law) and the repealing of the 1971 Sorcery Act in Parliament and enforce the criminal code to protect women and girls from sorcery related violence and other forms of violence including abuse and torture. Sexual violence and other forms of gender-based violence are inextricably linked to the spread of HIV and AIDS. Nearly 60% of the reported cases are women and girls, and many have reported associated sexual violence and abuse against them. As part of the national response to the HIV epidemic, the National AIDS Council Secretariat (NACS) in PNG in partnership with UN Women has undertaken the initiative to mainstream gender equality and promote human rights of women and girls and sexual minorities in the coordination, management and monitoring of programs with implementing partners. The Minister responsible for Health and HIV/AIDS pledges to continue to support NACS, its partners and stakeholders to ensure gender equality and respect for human rights are mainstreamed and productively pursued in all aspects of their work. In addition, the Autonomous Bougainville Government in PNG commits to domestic violence and women’s rights and end violence against women and girls through new legislation and policies that promote theimplementation of CEDAW and a Bougainville Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. The Action Plan will be a shared platform to better understand gender and development challenges including concerns in post-conflict Bougainville with an aim to: raising awareness on key women, peace and security issues, providing space for discussion and exchange of information; strengthening understanding of and commitment to gender equality in  Bougainville; and provide a mechanism for key stakeholders  come together and identify priorities and strategies to address issues and concerns relating to women and girls.



bottom of page