Oil Search Managing Director, Peter Botten
A 2013 study by Médicins Sans Frontières found that 70% of women in PNG will be raped or physically assaulted in their lifetime. Domestic and gender-based violence threatens lives daily around the world, and has been described as “endemic” in PNG by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violance Against Women.
Women’s empowerment is one of Oil Search’s key sustainable development priorities in PNG. This is also a cause that is important to many Oil Search people, and employees have banded behind an initiative that enables employees, contractors and suppliers to show their support and make a difference.
The Oil Search Women’s Network Australia (OWN) is encouraging all Oil Search employees, contractors and consultants anywhere we operate to submit photos holding a meaningful message in support of the campaign. For each photo received during the campaign, key Oil Search suppliers, including Spectrum, HAES, Monadelphous, OSD Pipelines, Jaybel Office Choice and Halliburton, will contribute from $1 to $5 – up to $1,000 – to the management of a safe house in the PNG Highlands, an initiative currently supported by the Oil Search Health Foundation.
The PNG Highlands is one of the most violent locations in PNG, with a very high prevalence of gender-based human rights abuses including sexual and domestic violence. As a result of this violence, there is an urgent need for the establishment of a safe and secure place for victims to recover – a “safe house”.
Due in part to the support of the Oil Search Health Foundation, a safe house with the capacity for nine women is currently under construction. Every dollar donated i.e. every photo taken, will help fund the management of this safe house.
This campaign is also part of Oil Search’s broader commitment to respecting and supporting human rights in PNG, and advancing women’s empowerment, one of the company’s key sustainable development priorities.
Manager Director Peter Botten stated: “PNG is a growing, culturally rich and prosperous nation in many ways; however the effects of domestic and gender-based violence on the country’s development is pervasive. As one of the larger employers in PNG, and with around 83% PNG nationals in our workforce, Oil Search has the opportunity to influence the local dialogue on this important issue.”
Further information about Oil Search’s gender based programmes, and its human rights approach more generally, is contained in their Sustainability Reports.