While stopping violence against women and girls is possible, the engagement of men will help drive transformative changes in power dynamics to end the violence.
This was noted by Minister for Health and Medical Services, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete at the Pacific Regional Dialogue on Engaging Men in the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls in Korolevu.
“This regional ddialogue creates a critical forum to work towards the development of effective strategies to engage men to and truly work together to prevent gender-based violence, including domestic violence, in our homes, villages and nation,” he told regional participants.
“It is an opportunity to exchange information and share ideas about existing programs and efforts to prevent violence against women and girls that focus on engaging men and boys, while building on our own Pacific Principles developed and agreed in 2016.”
Statistics from the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre note that 64 percent of Fijian women experience intimate partner violence, with 295 cases of domestic violence in the first six months of 2019 – equivalent to 295 cases in 180 days.
“Almost all perpetrators of domestic violence are men – so men need to take responsibility and change attitudes and behaviours, and become more engaged in ending violence against women and girls,” Minister Waqainabete added.
He called on participants to share experiences and evidence to create more impactful approaches to ending violence against women and girls.