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Coverage of gender-based violence issues in PNG and the Pacific

Through the ‘In Brief’ section of the Devpolicy Blog and interviews, Ashlee has been covering the latest news and research on gender-based violence in PNG and the Pacific region.

Interview examples:

Event summary:

‘In Brief’ examples:

 

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Book review: Indonesia Etc. by Elizabeth Pisani

A recent book review of Indonesia Etc. for the Devpolicy Blog.

Elizabeth Pisani, a former newswire journalist who was based in Jakarta during the Suharto era before making a career change into epidemiology, has previously brought us The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels, and the Business of AIDS. Her latest offering, Indonesia Etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation, takes a ‘random sample’ epidemiological approach to Indonesia’s 17,000ish islands to try to figure out just what holds the country together, against all odds.

Read the full review.

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Why is Timor-Leste trying to restrict the media?

This blog post analyses the proposed media law in Timor-Leste, which some commentators fear threatens press freedom, in the context of the wider challenges facing the Timor-Leste media.

In a context of increasing concern around corruption and public spending, the arguments of the government about the law being necessary for quality ring hollow, as does the reasoning that the law will enshrine journalism as a profession with protections.

This law will not solve the quality challenge facing the Timor press. New voices, increased competition and stronger demands from audiences are probably the best hopes, and they cannot be legislated into existence.

Instead, there is a real threat of increasing self-censorship by publications and individual journalists to mitigate their financial and legal risk in the face of the new sanctions that can be imposed under the law, and a real threat to the freedom and diversity of the Timor-Leste media.

Ashlee Betteridge

Read the full post on the Devpolicy Blog.

Combatting the family and sexual violence epidemic in Papua New Guinea: submission to parliamentary inquiry

Screen shot 2014-07-05 at 4.40.11 PMMinister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Julie Bishop MP, asked the human rights subcommittee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade to inquire into and report on the human rights issues confronting women and girls in the Indian Ocean – Asia Pacific region.

Given the wide scope of the terms of reference for this inquiry, we focused on addressing the family and sexual violence epidemic in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

This submission was prepared by Ms Ashlee Betteridge, Research Officer at the Development Policy Centre, The Australian National University, and Dr Kamalini Lokuge, Fellow at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, The Australian National University.

Download full submission [pdf].

Read summary of recommendations.

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Beyond human rights: ending child marriage as a development imperative

Human rights are enough reason alone to push for an end to early and forced marriage. Groups such as Human Rights Watch have been working on this issue for many years. Still, campaigners now cite a whole host of other reasons to end the practice, such as the improved healtheducation [pdf] and poverty alleviation outcomes when girls marry later. Child marriage is now squarely framed as a development issue.

Read the full post on child marriage on the Devpolicy Blog.

(Image from Too Young To Wed)

Policy brief: A parliamentary committee on aid? Issues and options

Screen shot 2013-11-24 at 12.19.28 AMParliamentary committee inquiries into the Australian aid program over the last decade have been few and far between, even as the aid program has grown massively. A parliamentary committee or subcommittee could improve parliamentary oversight of the Australian aid program and deliver a number of benefits.

I co-authored a policy brief with Stephen Howes on this topic for the Development Policy Centre in November 2013.

Download policy brief [pdf].

Read blog post.