NATION

Staff Train To Change Mindset, Belief System

The bid to nurture a society that is free from discrimi­nation and violence was the core message at a training session in Nadi. For the first time, the staff of
25 Sep 2018 10:30
Staff Train To Change Mindset, Belief System
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa (third from left, second row), Fiji Women’ s Crisis Centre co-ordinator Shamima Ali (fourth from left, second row) with ministry staff at the Gender, Violence against Women and Human Rights Training at the Sofitel Fiji Resort, Denarau, on September 23, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The bid to nurture a society that is free from discrimi­nation and violence was the core message at a training session in Nadi.

For the first time, the staff of the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation are engaged in this special training programme which also had valuable input from the Women’s Crisis Centre.

Led by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa the Gender, Violence against Women and Hu­man Rights Training was held at the Sofitel Fiji Resort, Denarau on Sunday night.

“This training is part of our commitment to the change that is sought to nurture a society that is free from discrimination and free from violence,” she said.

“This training is the step in the right direction to address gender-based violence. More important is the plan to internalise the knowl­edge and information given to be­gin the needed mindset change and change belief systems in our staff.

“Only then can we be powerful agents of gender sensitisation in the communities we serve. Better still is to live it in our lives so that our spouses are given the space to contribute to community and na­tional development.

“Our women can have the power relations, raised morale, empower­ment, and independence as well.”

Mrs Vuniwaqa added that gender equality was a major priority for the Fijian Government and was em­bedded in national and internation­al commitments and legislations.

“The visible advocacy and com­mitment to gender equality has also been partly due to a strong and vibrant women’s movement in Fiji that has been at the forefront of a lot of these gains apart from the Government’s commitment.”

Mrs Vuniwaqa acknowledged the centre for lending its expertise and partnering with the ministry to conduct this training.

“Our ministry staff need to gen­der sensitise our own selves before we start preaching about gender and related issues to those we inter­act with outside of our ministry.

“There is no better way to advance women’s rights without first un­derstanding the gender stereotypes and disparities that are stuck with us as a society, and have emerged as evident hindrances in the develop­ment of Fijian women.”

Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre co-ordinator Shamima Ali said this training was the first for the minis­try and staff from departments and units.

“The understanding of gender, violence against women, girls and children is important in the day to day work of each and every unit/ department,” she said

“Especially, in dealing with our target groups and sectorial develop­ment partners,” Ms Ali said.

Edited by Percy Kean

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