The
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Honorable Mereseini
Vuniwaqa today announced the official launch of a Two-Year initiative with the
title “the Gender Transformative Institutional Capacity Development”- a major step towards achieving
gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls in Fiji.

Approved by Cabinet in January, 2020, this initiative is supported by the Governments of New Zealand and Canada.

The Gender Transformative Institutional Capacity Development initiative aims to enhance technical knowledge, competence and resources on transformative gender mainstreaming across various government institutions, sectors and settings in Fiji.

This intends to create an enabling environment to ensure integration of all women and girls’ needs, interests, concerns, contributions and perspectives into policies, programs, budgets and reports while addressing the root causes of gender inequality in Fiji.

Vuniwaqa stated that “the Government of Fiji is at present challenged with limited institutional capacity on transformative gender mainstreaming both at individual and organizational levels.

The Government recognizes that the successful implementation of Beijing Platform of Action (BPfA) and achievement of the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals/Targets necessitate a whole of government, transformative, coordinated and evidence based approach to strengthening technical skills, resources and accountability mechanisms for gender equality.”

Honorable Vuniwaqa added that a
gender transformative approach requires looking beyond the symptoms of gender
inequality such as lack of access to resources but addressing the underlying
causes rooted in discriminatory gender social norms and behaviors and unequal
power relations.

The Gender Transformative Institutional Capacity Development initiative will set the establishment of new institutional structures and coordination mechanisms.

Gender Mainstreaming Action Groups (GMAGs) will be established in line ministries and respective agencies, replacing the previous system of gender focal points. GMAGs are chaired at Permanent Secretary Level and should include male and female senior officials from every department.

The priority task of the GMAGs is to prepare evidence based, inclusive and costed Gender Mainstreaming Action Plans (GMAPs) and to provide a mechanism for effective implementation and monitoring of GMAPs by the government in a given sector and setting. 

The
Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation (MWCPA) will lead the
implementation of the Gender Transformative Institutional Capacity Development
initiative.

Fiji
Women’s Right Movement (FWRM), supported by the Government of New Zealand is
the technical partner agency to the MWCPA for the overall implementation of Gender
Transformative Institutional Capacity Development initiative,.

The
Government of Canada will provide MWCPA and GMAGs across the government with
additional technical assistance in development of context and sector specific
knowledge products and tools.

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