The Bougainville Women for Peace and Freedom BWPF

Linked with Josie Tankunani Sirivi – Papua New Guinea.

The group has not an own website, but is named on some of the following sites:


As Mothers of the Land: The birth of the Bougainville women for peace and freedom: … Bougainville is a matrilineal society, in which women are custodians of the land, but, as the conflict escalated, they became unwilling pawns in the fight to control the country’s destiny. They were forced from their homes and herded into PNG-controlled ‘care centres’ or were forced to live on the run, fleeing to the jungle to escape violence, rape and military rule … . (full text).

Report on Representation for Bougainville women to the Asia Pacific Human Rights Tribunal, December 2001: Often people or countries fight because of greed. The powerful nations want all the good things for themselves, even if it is not theirs. So when the rightful owner defends his rights, this is the time when fights and wars start. (full text).

Backgrounder on Bougainville Women for Peace and Freedom: The Bougainville Women for Peace and Freedom (BWPF) have developed a human rights programme in the formerly blockaded areas of Bougainville. This programme is in response to community grief, trauma and the perceived need of acknowledging people’s suffering in the hope of redressing this continuing lack in their communities. Human Rights workshops were held in Central, North and South Bougainville in 1998 Although the meetings were held for women large crowds of men and chiefs joined in. They were all anxious to know what the UN Charter identifies as basic human rights, and their response to identified abuses was overwhelming. While the war was on 2 volumes of these abuses were compiled by Marilyn Havini and these have been recognised by both the Bougainville Interim Government (BIG) and the BWPF as their own documents even though they contained information of abuses committed and suffered by all sides in the conflict. Many risked their lives to send their information over the war years to the Sydney office.

The University of NSW School of Information, Library and Archives Studies created a database specifically for the Bougainville HRA Compilation. At the end of the war the Bougainville Reconciliation Government wanted this database to be set up in Bougainville. The BWPF selected one of their members to be trained in human rights and NGO representative work for women. (full text).

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