NATION

Agreement Upholds Women’s Rights, Support Services in Fiji

“Developing and nurturing partnerships is critical in advancing gender equality. Ms Bernklau said.
07 May 2019 13:38
Agreement Upholds Women’s Rights, Support Services in Fiji
Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa (Front: fourth from right) with staff members of her minisry and UN Women at the MoU signing.

The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has formalised its ongoing partnership with the UN Women Fiji Multi-Country-Office through the signing of a memorandum of understanding yesterday.

The signing cements support to the ministry for gender equality and ending violence against women (EVAW) projects being co-ordinated in partnership with UN Women Fiji MCO.

The support from UN Women Fiji MCO is largely through the Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls (Pacific Partnership) funded by the European Union and Australian Government with support from UN Women.

“This is a historic milestone binding us further together in our work towards gender equality, including the elimination of violence against women and girls and improving women’s economic empowerment,” said the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa.

“The ministry is especially appreciative to the Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls made possible through funds from the European Union and Australian Government with support from UN Women.

“It’s about working together to ensure evidence-based, collaborative approaches to best support the rights of women and girls in Fiji.

“This includes the provision of quality services to support survivors of domestic violence while ensuring they are treated with the dignity, respect and care they deserve”.

Speaking at the signing, Sandra Bernklau, representative for the UN Women Fiji MCO, said “this is a significant signing with the Government of Fiji that further affirms the trusted partnership between UN Women and the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation”.

“Developing and nurturing partnerships is critical in advancing gender equality.  Ms Bernklau said.

“A central component of this MoU is to escalate our mutual commitment to ending violence against women and girls, in particular under the new Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls supported by the EU and Australian Government.

“Government involvement and leadership is a central pillar to the success of this programme and we welcome the collaborative partnership approach being led by the Ministry in formalising this MoU.”

In addition to ending violence against women and girls, the MoU covers areas which the Government of Fiji and UN Women have determined as priorities for gender equality.

This includes women’s economic empowerment through the Markets for Change project, women and leadership, support to compliance with international gender equality commitments and ensuring that women and girls are not left behind during a disaster.

The Euro 19.5million Pacific Partnership programme is funded primarily by the European Union (Euro 12.7m) with targeted support from the Australian Government (Euro 6.2m) and cost-sharing from UN Women (Euro 0.6m). The programme brings together governments, civil society organisations, communities and other partners to promote gender equality, prevent violence against women and girls (VAWG), and increase access to quality response services for survivors.

The programme’s three outcome areas are jointly implemented through a partnership between the Pacific Community (SPC) Regional Rights Resource Team, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and UN Women Fiji MCO.

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