In Papua New Guinea (PNG), family and sexual violence is considered an epidemic. Nearly 7 in 10 women experience gender-based violence and an astonishing half of all women reported having been raped by age 15.

To support efforts to reduce violence against women, Coffey released a PNG Domestic Violence in the Workplace Policy in 2012. The policy sets out guidelines for responsibilities as an employer, employee rights and responsibilities, appropriate workplace support for staff affected by domestic violence and actions for both implementing and monitoring the policy. This policy aims to support efforts at the project level.

Coffey is currently managing four projects in PNG, including the PNG Incentive Fund and the Economic and Public Sector Program (EPSP). All four projects recognise gender as a cross-cutting theme. Strategies to redress gender inequities are incorporated into the design of each program and aim to engage more women in leadership positions and decision-making bodies. The policy also seeks to improve retention rates for girls in primary and secondary school.

Coffey’s Gender and Social Inclusion Adviser, Cara Ellickson, recently spent a week in PNG to review and undertake further training.

“Coffey’s acknowledgment and action on this issue in PNG, through our development and implementation of this policy, demonstrates leadership on a very important gender and human rights issue and makes good business sense,” she said.