13 Sep 2011

Men take role in PNG birthing

7:03 pm on 13 September 2011

The president of Papua New Guinea's National Council of Women says more men training to become Village Birth Attendants, or VBAs, in rural areas shows a positive change.

Five men from the Watut area were among more than 40 participants who successfully completed a VBA training course in Bulolo District.

Scholar Kakas says traditionally it is taboo for men to assist with births.

But she says by helping, it broadens men's understanding of women and what they have to endure to give birth, encourages them to help out more and could also reduce gender-based violence.

"Because it is breaking a barrier, which is not a tradition in Papua New Guina. And also men come to understand the type of pain that women go through in delivery, and that should teach them to change their attitudes as well."

The PNG National Council of Women president, Scholar Kakas.