NATION

Forum SHOWS Cost Of Violence

A forum organised by the Ministry of Women highlighted the 16 Days of Activism Forum and discussed the cost of violence against women and its substantive economic costs . The
28 Nov 2015 10:28
Forum SHOWS Cost Of Violence
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar

A forum organised by the Ministry of Women highlighted the 16 Days of Activism Forum and discussed the cost of violence against women and its substantive economic costs .
The forum, which was officially opened by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, was held on Thursday at the FNU Pasifika Campus in Suva.
It enabled representatives from Government and non-government organisations (NGOs) such as the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) to have a panel discussion on the theme, “Violence against Women- the Cost to Fiji.”
In his opening address, Mr Koya pointed out that violence against women has direct and indirect impacts on the economy.
“On a personal or individual level, women survivors of violence are forced off work due to emotional and physical injuries and stigma. This results in high level of absenteeism and lost earning, which can account for 21 per cent of a woman’s monthly income. One can add to these the resultant medical bills of the victim.
“Societies are left poorer with children being neglected and in fact research has shown that children whose mothers are abused, tend to repeat classes or are school dropouts and become aggressive in their behaviour,” Minister Koya said.
Statistics from the Reserve Bank of Fiji showed that the direct and indirect cost of violence against women is approximately $210.69 million per year.
“This accounts to roughly seven per cent of GDP. These are costs incurred by law enforcement agencies such as the Police through vehicle use, criminal investigations, forensic services, restraining orders and judicial system through prosecution and defense, court time, legal aid, jury costs, witness time, hearings and decisions including probation and parole to name a few.
Minister Koya also outlined the measures taken by the Fijian Government to promote the socio-economic empowerment of women.
“There are specific programmes that are currently benefiting Fijian women which includes women in business be it micro, small, medium or large enterprises. Under the FijiFirst Government’s Micro and Small Business Grant Facility, a total of 3122 grant recipients received their business grant of up to $1000. Of these 1131 or 36 per cent of the recipients are women entrepreneurs. Under the ‘Fijian Made-Buy Fijian Campaign’, 98 or 56 per cent licensed users of Fijian crafted brand are women.
“The above examples speak volume of the ability of women-and their ability to engage in business. I dare say and it is a known fact that women are better custodian of finances. This strengthens reason to respect women and more so to eradicate violence against women,” Mr Koya said.
The forum also highlighted the importance of laws which ensure the safety and wellbeing of victims of domestic violence which adheres to Fiji’s international obligations under the CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Violence against Women).

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