| Source: AAP|
PAPUA New Guinea's women need to speak out for their rights and be the standard bearers in the fight against corruption, Treasurer Don Polye says.
In a wide ranging statement on women's equality on Monday, Mr Poly said PNG cannot progress without the active involvement of women at all levels of civil society.
"The whole of society benefits from the gender equity," he said.
"It is our starting point in addressing the future of our nation because it makes good economic sense and it is crazy to talk on one hand about empowerment and engagement, and on the other to effectively exclude half of our population from playing a role."
PNG's women face gruesome hardships.
Statistics vary because data collection in the infrastructure poor country is difficult.
But some, such as health minister Michael Malabag, estimate as many as 70 per cent of PNG's women who are in relationships have experienced domestic or sexual violence.
Maternal mortality in PNG is also estimated to be 230 deaths for every 100,000 live births.
In Australia - PNG's closest neighbour - that statistic is seven deaths per 100,000 live births.
PNG's women are also 40 per cent less likely to be engaged in formal employment than men, Mr Polye said.
The challenge of keeping female employees safe is an intolerable cost to businesses in PNG," he said.
"It is unheard of in other parts of the world but in PNG it is normal for employers to provide overnight accommodation when women work late and to provide transport to and from work."
In his statement he urged women to fight against corruption as well as to fight for their rights for gender equality.
Two of PNG's three female national politicians are members of Mr Polye's Triumph Heritage Empowerment (THE) Party - MP Delilah Gore and Eastern Highlands Governor Julie Soso.
Mr Polye said the country needs to focus on education to rebalance the scales of equality, as well as proper policing, to deal with crimes such as sorcery killings.
He also praised a recently announced arrangement between the government and Queensland Premier Campbell Newman for a training exchange of 150 police officers.
In PNG belief in magic, or sanguma, is prevalent.
Following intense international pressure after a series of public executions of women accused of sorcery in 2013, the government of Peter O'Neill reactivated the nation's death penalty for "wilful murder".
Mr Polye - who has seven daughters - said he was personally dismayed when someone claimed sorcery as the motivator for cold-blooded murder, and that the accusers had no "heart and morality".