Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Witch Hunt in Papua New Guinea - Women Blamed for AIDS Catastrophe

The Independent reports today of a disturbing story out of Paua New Guinea. The AIDS crisis is being blamed on women and not only are women being hunted, tortured and murdered, but men, women and children with the disease are being burried alive with the miseducated hope of stopping the epidemic.

Mobs have attacked women believed to be witches, and tortured or murdered them. According to some reports, 500 such attacks have been carried out in the past year.

How horrible to consider the lack of education that is fuelling this tragedy.
Oxfam New Zealand, which is active in the country, says that extreme poverty, sexual violence, gender inequality and ignorance about the disease, combined with limited health services, are fuelling the spread of the virus. Women are at four times greater risk of contracting it, Oxfam says, "because their social standing does not allow them to negotiate safe sex". The World Health Organisation has predicted that one in five men, women and children in PNG will be infected within the next decade.

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