NATION

Ardern Keen to Know What Issues Interest Fijian Women: Vuniwaqa

Ms Ardern will attend two women’s events. Tomorrow she will attend a women leaders’ lunch at the official residence of the New Zealand High Commissioner Jonathan Curr at Ratu Sukuna Road in Suva.
25 Feb 2020 09:04
Ardern Keen to Know What Issues Interest Fijian Women: Vuniwaqa
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa and the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Mereseini Vuniwaqa last night said her meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern “was very exciting.”

The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, who led the Fijian welcoming party at Nadi International Airport, said they discussed a wide range of issues. Ms Vuniwaqa said Ms Ardern wanted to know the issues that women would want her to talk about.

Ms Ardern will attend two women’s events. Tomorrow she will attend a women leaders’ lunch at the official residence of the New Zealand High Commissioner Jonathan Curr at Ratu Sukuna Road in Suva.

In her final official engagement on Thursday before she flies out to Sydney, she will unveil a plaque at the opening of the Nadi branch of the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre at Namaka, Nadi.

Ms Ardern will be right at home when she talks about domestic violence against women and children because we have similar concerns about the issue in Fiji. She has said in New Zealand that her country’s record of family violence is “horrific” and “shocking” and addressing the issue is one of her Government’s priorities.

She was responding to a Stuff Investigation – The Homicide Report – which found 134 women were killed by a partner or ex-partner in the past 15 years. She says we have to change the way we confront domestic violence – not just through our services but also through the way we seek to address domestic violence as a nation, and the way we encourage conversation and an entire culture change.

Last year, the new Family Violence Act 2018 and the Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Act 2018 came into effect to strengthen the law against perpetrators and assist victims.

Ms Vuniwaqa said Ms Ardern was energised, ready to get down to business in her first official visit to Fiji. Ms Ardern flew to Nausori Airport where she inspected an honour guard consisting of a Republic of Fiji Military Forces contingent and the RFMF brass band.

Then she was driven to the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva where she is staying.

Today, she has a busy programme starting with the traditional welcome ceremony. She will then make a courtesy call on President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote. This will be followed by tree planting, wreath laying at the National War Memorial, bilateral talks with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, meeting with Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka, and a State dinner hosted by the Government to cap off the day.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper