Sorcery and Sexism in Papua New Guinea

One of Papua New Guinea’s most persistent problems is not its possibly overheated resource sector nor allegations of corruption. It’s witchcraft. More specifically, the vicious murders of women accused of sorcery. This is a complex problem that involves violence against women, land reclamations, and a rapidly developing nation.

A May 26 press release from Amnesty International called on the government to do more to protect women in the nation after a woman known as Mifla was hacked to death by a group of men in mid May. Two other women were also threatened and only just escaped. The trio, along with their children, were first accused in January.

A longtime Papua New Guinea resident and land rights activist, Lutheran missionary Anton Lutz, had been documenting the attacks and told the Australian Associated Press (AAP), “They believed she was a Sanguma (sorcerer), that she was responsible for deaths and misfortune in their world.” A witness apparently heard one killer say, “I’m sorry sister, I guess this is your day to die”…



  • ontario john

    This is an obvious case of “Voodoophobia”. The natives are just fighting back against the white man’s cultural genocide against traditional murder, rape, and pagan torture. I noticed the whiny indian report today demands that a monument about residential schools etc. be placed in every provincial capital, and a large one in a prominent spot in Ottawa. I suggest we tear down the National War Memorial and place it there. Since the thousands of white soldiers that died were part of the genocidal generation that abused natives. Besides Canadian soldiers past and present were and are sexist anyway.