IWD Event: Dame Carol Kidu to give the 2012 Pamela Denoon lecture

Dame Carol Kidu to give the 2012 Pamela Denoon lecture on “Sex, Women and the 21st Century in Papua New Guinea”
8pm Thursday 8 March
Manning Clark Lecture Hall 2, Australian National University

For Hoydens within travelling distance of Canberra, this year’s Pamela Denoon lecture will be given on International Women’s Day, at the ANU.

Pamela Denoon was an academic and social activist who died much too young, but arranged on her death to see that a substantial portion of her estate went to the furthering of feminist causes. Her work is not as well known as that of some other Australian feminists who have published more, but she was an important contributor to a time and place (Canberra in the 80s) when the movement for women’s rights was one that held great vigour and hope. Pamela had a personal connection with Papua New Guinea, raising her young family there for ten years, and also graduating from the University of PNG, so this year’s topic is particularly appropriate.

For those who can’t get there, the transcript of the lecture will be made available the next day at www.pameladenoonlecture.net

This site is an amazing resource for what some distinguished feminists, including Eva Cox, Quentin Bryce and Anne Summers, have felt was important to say about the state of the nation and the world. A biography of Pamela and transcripts of most of the lectures since 1995 can also be found at the above address.

Entry is by donation, but booking is still advisable. There will be light refreshments in the foyer prior to the lecture. Enquiries should be directed to pameladenoonlecture@hotmail.com

I won’t be able to make it myself, so a report from anyone who does get to it would be much appreciated.

[From the press release]

Dame Carol Kidu will be speaking about “Sex, Women and the 21st Century in Papua New Guinea”.

Pregnancy is the greatest killer of teenage girls in the world.  Girls in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are particularly vulnerable as hospital births are rare. Contraception is generally difficult to obtain, especially for unmarried women. Meanwhile, violence against women, including sexual violence, is endemic.  Extremely restrictive abortion laws (including a ban on abortion in cases of rape and incest) ensure that young women die regularly from unsafe abortion. Sexually transmitted infections are prevalent with HIV rates increasing steadily.  PNG is a devout nation with many denominations.  Christianity is an integral part of PNG culture and strongly influences the reproductive health services available to women.

What would improve the situation for PNG women?

Dame Carol Kidu is the only current female member of the Papua New Guinea Parliament.   She was born in Queensland and met her PNG husband, the late PNG Chief Justice Sir Buri Kidu, at a school camp.  She has spent her adult life in PNG and worked as a teacher before embarking on a political career.  Dame Carol won the Port Moresby South Constituency in 1997 and has focused her efforts on supporting women in the community.

Categories: crisis, culture wars, ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, religion, social justice

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