The Papua New Guinea Defence Force has developed a gender-based violence prevention & response framework, in addition to their own action plans to implement gender perspectives in their operations.
This is the PNGDF’s first-ever Gender Focal Point training from U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Office of Women, Peace & Security (WPS) to improve gender equity and equality within the defence force and this student cohort comprised of 17 males and 13 females.
The training was tailored to PNGDF’s organization and its military operations with a focus on reducing gender-based violence after the PNGDF Gender Committee requested specialized training assistance.
In his opening remarks, Chief of Training Colonel Dickers Esso said we need to trust the women in our forces to help instill trust in the populations we work with in our deployments and engagements.
“We are here to complement each other… take these lessons outside of these gates and into your lives.”
The 3-day course comprised of thirty PNGDF and Department of Defence students representing diverse career fields such as the Gender Committee; Military Police; Engineering; Chaplains, and Medical/Health Services, where the students learned new tools and processes to improve gender equity and equality within their own defence force.
The increase in natural disasters and the need for effective defence and security responses prompted the inclusion of lessons on how to improve the PNGDF operations in responding to natural disasters by considering the gender considerations of the entire populations.
This means planning for the unique security needs of women, men, boys and girls affected by crisis.
The Australia Defence Force also played an important role with Lieutenant Colonel Brendan Creer serving as an instructor and facilitator.
He observed that the delivery of this Gender Focal Point course further builds on the ongoing work being undertaken by the Australian Defence Force and other like-minded partners such as the United States Military and New Zealand Defence Force.
At the conclusion of this course, the 30 students graduated as Gender Focal Points, with certificates presented by the Deputy Chief of Defence.