The Kup Women for Peace: A Localized and Innovative Approach to Free, Fair and Peaceful Elections

Rachael Hinton
Michelle Kopi
Angela Apa
Agnes Sil
Mary Kini
Jerry Kai
Yanny Guman
Daniell Cowley

Despite the longevity and success of some non-government organizations (NGOs) in Papua New Guinea, civil society is in its early days and is limited in its scope. However, in the absence of a strong state, civil society groups that have developed within a context of conflict are responding to issues of violence in their communities. Small-scale, localized interventions that focus on human rights and human security issues and develop their own strategies for violence reduction are seeing positive law and justice outcomes. A strong feature of the 2007 national election in Papua New Guinea was the involvement of civil society and NGO groups working in conflict areas. These groups were seen as instrumental to the drive for a free, fair and peaceful election.

This chapter, based on interviews with men and women from Kup communities, examines a unique approach by a community-based organization, Kup Women for Peace (KWP), during the election period in Chimbu Province. KWP developed its own comprehensive and localized strategy, based on their peace-building work, and engaged the local community. Their approach sought not only to prevent election-related violence but also improve the electoral process and ensure a free and fair election. KWP applied new and creative practices, which developed outside the normal paradigms utilized by government and official bodies.

This is a chapter in the book edited by R.J. May, Ray Anere, Nicole Haley and Katherine Wheen (2013), ‘Election 2007: The Shift to Limited Preferential Voting in Papua New Guinea’, ANU Press.

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Submitted by Toksave
March 22, 2021
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