O arise all you sons of this land,
Let us sing of our joy to be free,
Praising God and rejoicing to be
Papua New Guinea.
MORRISET - This is the first verse of the Papua New Guinea national anthem. It needs to be changed.
How about changing it to be more inclusive? Instead of 'O arise all the sons of this land', maybe 'Arise all the children of this land'?
After all more than half are daughters of the land and most have suffered abuse, rape and mistreatment at the hands of males.
An estimated 67% of wives have been beaten by their husbands, and close to 100% in the Highlands Region according to a 1992 survey by the PNG Law Reform Commission.
In urban areas, one in six women have needed treatment for injuries caused by their husbands.
The most common forms of violence include kicking, punching, burning and cutting with knives, accounting for 80% to 90% of injuries treated by health workers
The female members of my Papua New Guinean family have not been immune from sexual violence either.
To see a Woman
To see a woman crying, dying
That is the saddest thing.
To see a woman beaten, mistreated
That is an awful thing.
To hear a mother lying, imploring
Her children not to blame their father,
That is a soulless thing.
To see a woman's body, wounded,
No medicine can heal,
No consolation real
That is the evil’st thing.
To see a woman dead
When help has merely fled
The life from her has bled
The ground around stained red
Her hopes of future shred
That is the hell we bring.
Peter Kranz’s poem was first published by PNG Attitude in September 2014