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Published on Aug 23, 2012
Port Moresby is one of five pilot cities -- along with Quito, Kigali, New Delhi and Cairo -- participating in UN Women's Global Programme "Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls." Operating successfully since its December 2010 launch, the project, entitled "Port Moresby: A Safer City for Women and Girls," aims to develop, test, evaluate and disseminate a model that makes cities safer for women and girls.
Port Moresby -- Papua New Guinea's capital -- is characterized by poor and crowded living conditions, a growing population with high urban migration, increasing cultural diversity and ethnic tensions, and a widening gap between rich and poor. It has been ranked as one of the five least-liveable cities in the world based on scores in five areas: stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. Large natural resource extraction projects in mining, petroleum and liquefied natural gas have generated solid increases in GDP over the last decade, but economic growth has not translated into the development of the country or its people.
The city's violent crime threatens the safety and security of all citizens, particularly women and girls, who live in fear of physical and verbal sexual harassment and assault and are too often victims of these and other forms of gender-based violence. The city's marketplaces are among the most unsafe public spaces where gambling, drinking, drug sales and consumption, rape, gang rape, sexual harassment, intimidation and ethnic fights occur on a daily basis. Consequently, the markets provide the key entry point for mobilising residents to make their city safer by deepening the understanding of every citizen's rights and responsibilities and promoting women's leadership and participation in efforts to improve governance in the markets.