An important part of women’s economic empowerment is helping women operate more fully in the formal sector economy. But the barriers to women’s participation can be significant – ranging from domestic violence to childcare, transport safety, legal and regulatory restraints.
A growing issue for employers – both in the Pacific and around the world – is the impact of family and sexual violence on the workplace.
According to the ‘Black Eyes Cost Business: The Business Rationale for Addressing Family and Sexual Violence’ report:
- In 2014, 94 percent of employers in PNG surveyed by the World Bank and the Business Coalition for Women believed some of the employees had probably been victims of domestic violence and that violence against women affects their workplaces; and
- Two-thirds of women in PNG have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some stage in their life – twice as many as the global average.
Any kind of violence inside or outside the workplace creates unsafe working conditions and can cost your business through reduced productivity, absenteeism and increased costs associated with staff turnover and security.
So addressing family and sexual violence is not only the right thing to do, it is also good business.
Download a copy of the PNG Business Coalition For Women’s Addressing Violence poster here.
If you, or someone you know, is a victim of violence here’s where to find help:
Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC)
The FWCC provides crisis counselling as well as legal, medical and other practical support services for women and children who are victims of violence committed against them by men. The FWCC is also involved in public advocacy and community education on gender, violence against women, human rights and legal literacy. The centre addresses all forms of violence against women including rape, beating, sexual harassment and abuse of children. For confidential counselling support and information visit the FWCC website or one of their local offices:
Phone: +679 331-3300 or +679 920-9470
Phone: +679 670-7558 or +679 740-4760
Phone: +679 667-0466 or +(679) 923-9775
Phone: +679 669-4012 or +679 912-9790
Phone: +679 881-4609 or +679 937-7784
Medical Services Pacific (MSP)
MSP helps women, youth and children to gain greater access to information, quality health care and social services. It also offers free clinical services and provides holistic care to those in need including: clinical, counselling, child protection, human rights and legal advice for survivors of sexual assault and gender violence.
Drop in to the ‘One Stop Shop’ at 355 Waimanu Road, Suva.
Phone: +679 363-0108 or 3548062, or dial 5640.
After Hours MSP Hotline: +679 991 0894
Child Helpline Fiji
Phone (free call): 1325
Anglicare PNG Inc.
Anglicare PNG provides vital health services on sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV including prevention, counselling, treatment care and support, couples counselling, and child protection programs.
Phone: +675 325-1855
Femili PNG provides integrated case management to survivors of family and sexual violence to help them access counselling, support and other interventions for protection and justice. Since opening the doors to the Family and Sexual Violence Case Management Centre (CMC) in Lae in July 2014, Femili PNG has helped hundreds of women and children in high risk situations through the court system and back to safe home and village environments. For more information visit: www.femilipng.org
Meri Toksave Inc. aims to mitigate and end the incidence and impact of domestic, family and sexual violence in Papua New Guinea. Meri Toksave is a youth-led organisation that provides youth empowerment and community empowerment to achieve solutions in ending violence against women and in achieving women’s rights.
The organisation has created a directory of emergency services for those affected by family and sexual violence. Created for victims of sexual violence, the Directory aims to tackle the issue by improving the accessibility to emergency services information and support referral systems for victims.
Marie Stopes provides sexual and reproductive and family planning services to women, men and young people in PNG. The organisation also offers friendly, non-judgemental advice and information on sexual health – simply call 1200 from anywhere in PNG. For more information on the organisation, visit http://www.mariestopespng.org.pg/contact-usor call 325 5320.
Note: Westpac has offices in PNG and Fiji, so much of the content on this site relates to these countries. We hope, though, that it is useful for all women entrepreneurs across the Pacific and beyond.
We welcome your feedback on additional resources or contacts that would help to improve Pacific Women in Business. Please contact us with your ideas and feedback.