Papua New Guinea is faced with a scandal as a diplomat has been sacked after he assaulted his wife in a restaurant in Taiwan.
In a nation where two in every three women are a victim of gender based violence, the scourge has gone beyond its shores. PNG Foreign Minister, Justin Tkatchenko issued a statement calling the actions of the diplomat disgraceful and deplorable.
It is believed that the diplomat in question was recalled and will be removed permanently from the diplomatic corp. Mr Tkatchenko said the government will not tolerate such behaviour, especially when PNG is working to combat gender-based violence.
The 44-year-old man was with PNG’s Taiwan Trade mission. Taiwan media reported that the man had assaulted his wife and a restaurant worker in a Taipei City restaurant.
It was reported that the woman suffered severe trauma to the back of her head. Mr Tkatchenko issued a warning to other diplomats and said that a precedent has been set and if anyone in diplomatic postings carries out similar behaviour, they too will be taken to task.
“When it comes to the selection of High Commissioners, Consular Generals, Ambassadors overseas to represent Papua New Guinea, they must be of the highest standing with an impeccable record,” he said.
“We don’t want people there just for a joyride. They have to work, promote the country and put our name in shining light and promote Papua New Guinea. It’s all about promoting our good name.”
It is believed that the ruckus has been a major embarrassment for the PNG Government and they had to issue a formal apology to the authorities in Taiwan.
PNG’s battle with gender based violence and bringing equality is an uphill one where even now, it is not the priority of the government.
In recent weeks, women have been victims of heinous crimes, and incidents have been reported where school girls have been raped and women murdered.
After the general elections, only two women were elected into a parliament with 111 seats. Prime minister James Marape said the western concept of gender equality should not be forced on PNG and the elected men represented the women.
PNG’s National Council of Women has said not enough was being done by the government and there was no realisation that empowering women was empowering the whole nation.