FWRM welcomes the announcement for the development of a National Action Plan to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG).

The government at a recent press conference this week in Suva announced a National Action Plan focused on preventing domestic violence, intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women and girls.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Honourable Mereseini Vuniwaqa pledged her commitment towards the development and implementation of the National Action Plan together with the support of the Ministry for Health and Medical Services, Ministry for Education, Heritage and the Ministry for Employment, Productivity, Industrial Relations, Youth and Sports.

FWRM commends the historic move and acknowledges the efforts by the government towards eliminating violence against women and girls but strongly reiterates the need to recognise patriarchy as the root causes of violence.

“Patriarchy remains to be the biggest barrier to addressing violence against women and girls. It is deeply entrenched in our society and its imperative that we change our attitudes towards women and girls and promote gender equality,” said FWRM Executive Director Nalini Singh.

According to the media statement, Fiji is the first Pacific Island Country to develop this plan and one of only two countries globally along with Australia, to have an evidence-based approach.

“Women’s groups and women human rights defenders have continuously researched and raised awareness on the ground to highlight the prevalence of violence. It was good to see some of these statistics being shared and we hope this translates to more cooperation between government and CSOs, NGOs and women’s groups towards developing this plan,” said Ms Singh.

“We are looking forward to the development of a National Action Plan to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) and welcome a collaborative effort to improve women’s and girls’ rights in Fiji.”

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