The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa yesterday received the Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives, Honorable Trevor Mallard and his cross-party New Zealand Parliamentary delegation at the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Headquarters in Suva.
Minister Vuniwaqa briefed the New Zealand Speaker on the Fijian Government’s commitment to gender equality and to improving outcomes for women and girls in the six thematic priority areas and also other topics of mutual interest including child welfare, disabilities, the elderly and poverty alleviation.
Minister Vuniwaqa thanked Honorable Trevor Mallard for hosting the women members from the Fijian Parliament during a parliamentary visit earlier this year where women parliamentarians were able to have fruitful discussions with their New Zealand counterparts on issues of mutual interest including the role of women in leadership. Minister Vuniwaqa also acknowledged the work of our Fijian Speaker of Parliament Hon. Ratu Epeli Nailatikau who took the initiative to establish a cross-party women’s caucus group in Parliament with the overarching aim of addressing issues relevant to women as parliamentarians.
Honorable Trevor Mallard stated that the visit from the women members of the Fijian Parliament to New Zealand is part of an ongoing programme of parliamentary capacity and relationship building between members of Parliaments in the Pacific region. He further stated that their visit is one of mutual learning – where our respective parliaments and parliamentarians can learn from each other on an ongoing basis.
Also present at the meeting were the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry, Ms. Jennifer Poole and Officials from the Ministry.