The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa yesterday received Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls Dr Sharman Stone at the Ministry’s Conference Room in Suva.
 
Accompanying  Dr Sharman Stone were the Australia’s Pacific Women Advisory Board Members, Australia High Commissioner, His Excellency John Feakes and staff members from the High Commission.

Vuniwaqa said that the meeting was an opportunity to encourage greater partnership between the Fijian government and the Australian Government in women’s empowerment which sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth.


Vuniwaqa reiterated that the ministry also works to increase women’s participation in decision- making, eliminate violence against women, improve women’s access to basic services and address women’s issues in new legislation.  The role of the REACH Program in all these key areas was highlighted.


Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls Dr Sharman Stone highlighted the importance of reproductive health education and the unmet needs for which good data is required as a baseline for monitoring purposes.


Other areas of discussion included the key role played by the National Women’s Expo which was hosted by the Ministry in supporting women’s economic empowerment was also discussed – providing rural women a platform to sell their products and gain access to local and international markets initiatives for the elimination of violence against women.

Vuniwaqa acknowledged the Government of Australia for providing a Gender Advisor to  the Fijian Government who has contributed to the compilation of the Implementation Plan of the National Gender Policy and looks forward to the appointment of a new one. 

 

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