An examination of culture as a protective mechanism against gender based violence: a case study in Mt Bosavi, Papua New Guinea : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy

An examination of culture as a protective mechanism against gender based violence: a case study in Mt Bosavi, Papua New Guinea (PDF)


Development literature has not accorded sufficient attention to culture as a positive aspect of development until recently. Hence, in terms of using culture as a protective mechanism against gender-based violence, not much has been investigated or reported, since most studies on gender-based violence have focused more on cultural influences as the cause or effect of violence against women. However, in the case of Papua New Guinea (PNG) culture has always been the focus in regards to genderbased violence, portrayed as the cause of violence against women. Occasionally sources state there are traditional customs or beliefs that protect women from violence, but further explanation is not provided. Hence, this research investigated the question, “How can culture address gender-based violence in contemporary, rural Papua New Guinea?” This study offers an opportunity to view PNG culture as a solution to a problem, instead of as merely a problem to be solved. To investigate how culture can be used positively as a strategy to address genderbased violence, a case study was conducted among the Sulamesi people of Mt Bosavi in the Southern highlands province of PNG. This research was conducted in a rural area because in general Papua New Guineans perceive people living in the villages as the ones living a traditional lifestyle, where established cultural norms and behaviours prevail. Using a qualitative research approach, the research investigated whether there were any traditional protective mechanisms in PNG used to address gender-based violence. This thesis concludes that through the identification of culture-driven protective mechanisms, it can be demonstrated that culture can be used as a strategy to address gender based violence. However, caution must be applied, since not all the protective mechanisms identified are desirable or constructive.

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Massey University
Development studies
Degree / Paper: 
Master of Philosophy (Development Studies)
Held In Library: 
Library Name: 
Massey University
Author Name: 
Dogimab, Mirriam Adang
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