Ministry of Women launches National Action Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls
This is a true testament to the hard work of women's rights activists - Ali

Ministry of Women launches National Action Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls

This is a true testament to the hard work of women's rights activists - Ali

By Mosese Raqio
Friday 02/06/2023

The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation today launched the Fiji National Action Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls in Fiji 2023-2028, and committed an initial $1 million for the fiscal year 2023-2024 to stop violence before it starts while the Australian Government has also provided $6 million.

Fiji has created history by being the first Pacific Island Country and second in the world alongside Australia, to develop and launch a whole-of-government, whole-of-population, inclusive, cost, and evidence-based national action plan aimed at preventing gender-based violence.

The Ministry of Women led the development of the National Action Plan in partnership with a secretariat comprised of the ministry, the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre and UN Women, and a technical working group made up of government ministries and civil society organisations.

While speaking from Samoa in a video message, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said the statistics and number of women and girls who are victims of domestic violence in Fiji are horrific and are a national disgrace.

He says in Fiji, at least 3 in 5 women or 60 percent of women have faced some form of domestic violence while 1 in 5 women have faced sexual harassment at their workplaces.

He adds most of them pretend that everything is okay but are suffering behind closed doors.

Rabuka says when this National Action Plan was tabled in the cabinet, it was approved without any hesitation. He adds this plan is a comprehensive roadmap towards change, placing prevention at its core and urging implementation of measures to actively address violence at its roots.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Lynda Tabuya says Fiji faces some of the highest rates of gender-based violence in the world.

Tabuya says a national crisis of such proportions deserves nothing less than the highest attention of all of us.

She adds there can be no progress, when Fijian women and girls in all diversity live in cycles of violence at home, at their workplace, while going to school and while on public transportation.

Tabuya says the Fiji National Action Plan centres on dismantling the culture of patriarchy and the pillars of gender inequality across all aspects of our society.

She says violence against women and girls is both a symptom and a cause of gender inequality and equality is at the heart of the solution.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad says for the upcoming financial year, the government has introduced a new budget line specifically dedicated to the implementation of the National Action Plan across key ministries.

He says these ministries include the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts, Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation, and the Ministry of Health.

Professor Prasad says under the leadership of the Ministry of Women, Children, and Poverty Alleviation, the government has successfully mobilized significant funding for the effective implementation of the Fiji National Action Plan including generous support from the Government of Australia, amounting to a total of $6 million.

He adds approximately, $1 million has been allocated to these ministries, reflecting the whole-of-government approach to preventing violence against all Fijian women and girls.

FWCC Coordinator Shamima Ali says this momentous occasion is a true testament to the dedication and the hard work of women's rights activists who have been fighting tirelessly for gender equality and women's rights in Fiji, around the Pacific and around the world.

Ali says the collective courage, resilience, and strength shown by feminists are shaking the very pillars of patriarchy and are making significant progress.

She says this occasion is an act to dismantle the root causes of violence against all women and girls.

Ali adds this initiative will not stop until all women and girls in Fiji live free from fear and violence.

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