08. Men's Matters

There are many women's groups in Papua New Guinea, but (outside of politics) few opportunities for men to meet and talk seriously about their lives.  For over five years I was assisting the Diocese of Daru-Kiunga under the leadership of Bishop Gilles Côté in annual "men's matters" workshops -- leading to the formation of a Men's Movement at the time of the Diocesan 50 yrs Jubilee Celebrations in 2009.  Themes for the week long meetings with 50 representatives from all parts of the Western Province included:  1. Men as protectors, husbands, fathers and providers.  2. Men and domestic violence and domestic harmony.  3. Men's inner life.  4. Men facing the future.

Hopefully the idea will catch on in other parts of Papua New Guinea, but that is a slow task. We have now started "Men's clinics" in some of hospital and clinics, where men can come and wait with other men to be examined by a male health worker.  I have been working too with men on the topic of "Men, masculinities, and violence", particularly in the PNG Highlands. I give input also at the "Men of Honour" project promoted by the Digicel Foundation.

You can see the ceremony for recognising the Men's Movement near the end of the movie "Daru-Kiunga Diocese - 50 years (

Below is a shot from one of the workshops