Permanent Secretary for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation: ‘Unacceptable Violence Impacts Society’

“One in every three women around the world and in Fiji has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime - with the abuser usually someone known to her,”
19 Feb 2019 10:00
Permanent Secretary for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation: ‘Unacceptable Violence Impacts Society’
Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Dr Josefa Koroivueta.

Senior officers of the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs have heard how violence against women has an impact on all societies

The Permanent Secretary for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Josefa Koroivueta, explained this during the Gender Based Violence and Human Rights Training at the Warwick Fiji Resort & Spa, Korolevu yesterday.

In saying it is a global issue of pandemic proportions, PS Koroivueta highlighted during training the percentage of Fijian women who are subjected to unacceptable violence.

“One  in every three women  around  the  world and in Fiji  has  been  beaten,  coerced  into sex  or  otherwise  abused  in  her  lifetime – with  the  abuser  usually  someone  known to her,” he said.

“We know that violence against women and children is an issue in our country that requires urgent attention.

“64 per cent of our very own women here in Fiji, according to the Fiji Women’s Crises Centre survey, are subjected to unacceptable violence.

“Fijian women suffer violence including physical, sexual or emotional violence and quite often the only choice is to flee to seek help.

“You are all representatives of organisations that provide this assistance. Our society’s learning on this issue has been gradual and the path to knowing has been painful and challenging.”

Dr Koroivueta added that the Service Delivery Protocol, which the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs is a signatory to, is a binding agreement for frontline service providers and ensures survivors of gender-based violence mostly women and girls, receive the best care and treatment.

“It ensures the provision of appropriate, timely and quality services for survivors of gender-based violence together with accountability and justice for perpetrators,” Dr Koroivueta said.

“Children and Poverty Alleviation is committed to working with all government agencies to prioritise women’s right to safety, freedom and access to leadership and decision making. The problem of gender based violence is immense, particularly domestic violence, and our iTaukei communities and settings are no exception.

“It is often seen as a private matter and does not always get reported. Domestic violence is a crime. Therefore it must be reported.”

The Fijian Government is aligning its development strategies to Goal 5 “Gender Equality”, Agenda 2020: that focuses on the gender equality targets of ending all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.  Fiji’s five-year and 20 years National Development Plan places priority on empowering women to reach their full development potential.

Edited by Percy Kean

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