Leniata Legacy created the Brisbane Haus Krai / Anti-Violence Protest in Brisbane Australia as an international platform to raise the voices of our women, sisters, daughters and children on the ground in Papua New Guinea. We were backed by international organisations such as Amnesty International and international media, such as ABC, SBS and other news channels with members of Australian Parliament present, Jane Prentice. We responded to the National Haus Krai movement created by Woman Arise in Papua New Guinea and stood in solidarity. On 8 February 2013, Kepari Leniata was violently killed by a mob who accused her of sorcery in a remote village in Mt. Hagen. Lack of access to health services along with newly introduced diseases in the remote parts of PNG creates a vacuum in understanding of illnesses and unknown causes of death coupled by the downturn in economic opportunity. Consequently, women are predominantly blamed for witchcraft when there is an unknown cause of death where they are tortured, murdered and brutalised. This also applies to those who associate themselves or who are associated with these people who are accused of sorcery such as family members, friends and community elders, leaders or members.
Due to mobile phone technology, Kepari Leniata's death was exposed to the general population and to the horror of the international media. The Leniata Legacy united the community of Brisbane to take to the streets in Australia to express solidarity with our country women and men and create a protest march of 400-500 Australian/PNG people shouting out calls such as "Stop the Silence, End the Violence". People on the streets were taken aback by the roars of Papua New Guineans and the attention of passersby was clear. The Leniata Legacy also stood in solidarity with the Haus Krai movement created by Woman Arise in Papua New Guinea and had a Haus Krai (mourning) for the women of Papua New Guinea where makeshift graves of women were buried in the gardens with statistics of women who were killed. The Leniata Legacy also partnered with Amnesty International to assisting in capturing 500 signatures from the PNG/Australian community as a petition to the PNG government to take measures to end violence against women.
We are all challenged with the question: how many women do we have to bury before it hits home that their lives are of significant value and they make up 50% of the contribution of any society, any village, any nation; the planet. The disempowerment of women is magnified when the already existing economic conditions of employment opportunities and equal wages, positions of leadership and owning businesses is coupled with horrendous brutal violence and threat of violence from their homes of their parents, their husbands and from their communities or perfect strangers caused by poverty.
The Leniata Legacy campaign has continued every year until 2016 to create a stronger momentum of raising the voices of women in the noise of violent households that are kept so silent.
2014 Brisbane Haus Krai / Protest March
In 2014, Leniata Legacy had the blessing of having Governor Gary Juffa present during his trip to Brisbane. Gary Juffa also participated in our Pacific Youth Forum 2014.
2015 Brisbane Haus Krai / Protest March
As published in Stella Blog online, http://www.stellamag.com/index.php/blog/archive/haus-krai-2015
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