In addressing violence in Papua New Guinea, most programs seek to work with survivors. However, to prevent the recurrence of violence — especially gender-based violence — it’s important to address the harmful attitudes that drive it. USIP’s Ruth Kissam and Zuabe Tinning discuss how a USIP program seeks to reorient men’s perspectives in Papua New Guinea toward championing equal participation for women in decision-making processes and repairing the damage caused by harmful and violent behaviors in their communities.

Related Publications

The Current Situation in Papua New Guinea

The Current Situation in Papua New Guinea

Friday, March 8, 2024

As the United States reengages in the Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea is emerging as an increasingly important U.S. partner. It is the region’s largest country, with a landmass about the size of California and a population estimated to be somewhere between 10 and 17 million. In April 2022, Papua New Guinea was designated as one of the focus countries under the U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability (SPCPS). In May 2023, the United States and Papua New Guinea signed a Defense Cooperation Agreement.

Type: Fact Sheet

Addressing Gendered Violence in Papua New Guinea: Opportunities and Options

Addressing Gendered Violence in Papua New Guinea: Opportunities and Options

Thursday, March 7, 2024

By: Negar Ashtari Abay, Ph.D.;  Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D.;  Gordon Peake, Ph.D.;  Melissa Demian, Ph.D.

Each year, more than 1.5 million women and girls in Papua New Guinea experience gender-based violence tied to intercommunal conflict, political intimidation, domestic abuse, and other causes. It is, according to a 2023 Human Rights Watch report, “one of the most dangerous places to be a woman or girl.” Bleak as this may seem, it is not hopeless. USIP’s new report identifies several promising approaches for peacebuilding programming to reduce gender-based violence and effect meaningful and lasting change in Papua New Guinea.

Type: Special Report

Gender

In the Pacific, Corruption and Poor Policing Open a Door to China

In the Pacific, Corruption and Poor Policing Open a Door to China

Thursday, February 8, 2024

By: Gordon Peake, Ph.D.

After the Pacific’s largest island nation, Papua New Guinea, recently suffered deadly rioting that included police, an official last week announced a Chinese offer to help strengthen its police force. That sequence exemplifies a rising challenge for democracy and stability in the Pacific: Many island nations suffer corruption and deficient policing that undermines the rule of law. This gap in responsive governance lets China seek influence through technical assistance drawn from its authoritarian model of policing. In response, democracies must reshape narrow, outdated approaches to security assistance.

Type: Analysis

Democracy & GovernanceJustice, Security & Rule of Law

Riots in Papua New Guinea Are a Warning: Urgent Change is Needed

Riots in Papua New Guinea Are a Warning: Urgent Change is Needed

Thursday, January 11, 2024

By: Gordon Peake, Ph.D.

Riots erupted in Papua New Guinea's capital yesterday, laying bare the hollowness of governance that is failing to meet public needs, thus risking deeper violence and instability. U.S attention to the Pacific Islands' largest and most populous nation is increasing, partly because it is an arena for geopolitical competition with China. While Papua New Guinea's leaders are good at rolling out the red carpet for visiting partners, the state fails lamentably in providing basic services for its people. This week’s violence is a wake-up call for U.S and international policymakers to re-focus on this root of the country’s instability.

Type: Analysis

Democracy & GovernanceFragility & Resilience

View All Publications