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In a video produced by Yumi Sanap Strong, she explains how she formed a group with seven other women in her community who were facing similar problems and sought the advice of a local development officer, who suggested she start a women’s organisation and apply for funding.“I went back and gathered mothers and created this women’s group the same week,” she says.Today Kafe Women’s Association runs education programs around health and gender-based violence and lobbies leaders at community and government levels to act on gender inequality in PNG.Domestic violence was criminalised in PNG in 2016, but Human Rights Watch notes in its World Report 2018 that “police and prosecutors rarely pursue investigations or criminal charges against people who commit family violence—even in cases of attempted murder, serious injury, or repeated rape—and instead prefer to resolve such cases through mediation and/or payment of compensation.” Fufurefa says Kafe Women’s Association aims to empower local women to make decisions in their own lives.In 1978, a Papua New Guinea court interpreted ‘living on the earnings of prostitution’ to include 'profit from one's own prostitution'.
Up to 70 per cent of women will experience sexual assault at least once in their lifetime.
NGOs report some parents receive money from traffickers who exploited their teenage daughters in prostitution, including near mining and logging sites.
Children, including girls as young as 5 years old from remote rural areas, are reportedly subjected to sex trafficking by members of their immediate family or tribe.
Tribal leaders reportedly trade with each other the service of girls and women for guns and to forge political alliances.
Young girls sold into polygamous marriages may be exploited in prostitution.The women ran a food stall selling rice balls and betel nuts to raise enough money to register their organisation, which they called Kafe Women’s Association.Fufurefa contacted a local coffee-growing company to organise employment for local women, who donated a portion of their wages to the collective.Eriko Fufurefa, from Henganofi in Papua New Guinea’s Eastern Highlands Province, was married at 15 and endured years of abuse at the hands of her husband until he left her and married another woman. “I couldn’t get support.” Fufurefa is in Brisbane to attend the WOW (Women of the World) at Festival 2018 and the launch of a photography exhibition at QUT Creative Industries Precinct documenting the work Yumi Sanap Strong, a group of PNG human rights defenders who campaign against sorcery-related violence in the country.