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Ending Violence Against Women

Ending Violence Against Women
The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar (front/fourth from left), with members of the Jakarta Women’s Crisis Centre in Indonesia. Photo: Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation
June 11
08:52 2015

Strengthened collaboration between Fiji and Republic of Indonesia will enable information sharing and resources in terms of eliminating violence against women and children.

This was highlighted during an official visit by the Fijian Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar, to the Jakarta Women’s Crisis Centre in Indonesia on Tuesday this week.

Speaking at this meeting, Ms Akbar said a consolidated effort was needed to address domestic violence in developing countries.

“We thank you for this opportunity to share information on some of your best practices and experiences in addressing issues like domestic violence. In Fiji, research shows that 64 per cent of women have experienced physical or sexual violence by a husband or intimate partner,” she said.

“In recent years, Fiji has enforced important laws like Domestic Violence Decree, Child Welfare Decree and Crimes Decree that safeguards and protects women and children against issues of violence and abuse.

“The ministry is also working with Fiji Police to develop a Memorandum of Understanding to intensify efforts to eliminate violence against women and children.

Apart from conducting community awareness programmes, the ministry provides skills training and income-generating opportunities for women. Socio-economic empowerment and leadership development of women is also one of the key strategies in addressing domestic violence.”

Ms Akbar said the ministry received an increased budget over the years to carry out its role. Ms Akbar took the opportunity to explain some of the significant plans and programmes (see table below) by the Fijian Government to safeguard the rights and interests of women.

SIGNIFICANT PLANS, PROGRAMMES
– The Ministry in partnership with Non-Government Organisations plans to build a Safe House for victims of domestic violence. Currently, Fiji doesn’t have any safe houses for women and children who are victims of domestic violence and abuse. Ms Akbar said this facility would provide accommodation and counselling services for victims of violence to find their strength to live a empowered life;
– Male Advocacy Awareness Programmes are conducted in partnership with women NGOs;
– Repeated messaging through media campaign, television and radio advertisements to disseminate information;
– Implementation of Fiji’s National Gender Policy;
– Plans to have a bigger share of the budget next year to further strengthen the ministry’s programmes in empowering women and children; and
– Networking with partners both locally and internationally to expand reach out and opportunities for women and children.

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