In
light of COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on women and children as well as the
most vulnerable, the Fijian Government through the Ministry of Women, Children and
Poverty Alleviation has formed and led two working groups; the Gender Based
Violence Working Group and the COVID-19 Response Gender Working
Group.

The
COVID-19 Response Gender Working Group has been formed to undertake a
rapid internal gender analysis on the impact of COVID-19 on all Fijian women
and girls.

“To formulate policies and programs that are not gender-blind, it is important to understand the different ways that the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying economic crisis may affect gender equality outcomes,” said Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa.

“The impact of the virus is not gender-blind; therefore the response to it should not be either. We are doing this to ensure that recovery is centered on the principle of leaving no one behind,” Vuniwaqa said.

The Gender-Based
Violence (GBV) Working Group has been formed to advance prevention and response
to Violence against
Women and Girls (VAWG) during emergencies.

The GBV Working Group has developed a range of resources including a Resource Kit to guide front-line responders on responding to gender-based violence and child protection cases during COVID-19.

“It
is not only key to initiate the work rapidly, but strategically and in
collaboration. The Ministry will continue to work with relevant stakeholders in
advocating and coordinating interventions that meet the immediate needs of all
women and girls, ensuring that it reaches those left furthest behind while
safeguarding and leveraging gains made on gender equality and women and girls’
empowerment.”

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