Vuniwaqa said that the Fijian Government will continue to address the issue of violence against women and the costs it bears to our Government. She also stated that violence against women and children in our communities is unacceptable and also a huge barrier to the development of our country.
Viani is one of the nine villages in the district of Navatu in the province of Cakaudrove. The village has a total number of fifty eight households and their main sources of income are fishing and farming, and supplementary sources of income includes copra production. In May 2015, Viani was identified as a hot spot area by the Police during an awareness program at Wailevu District on the topic of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse. The first of the ten phases of training’s under the ZTVFC programme was conducted in 2015, and the remaining training’s were conducted phase by phase.
Viani Women’s Group Secretary, Mrs Akisi Wasevanua, 53, said that the ten phases of training was an eye opener for them and it will help the men and women to know the importance of women’s empowerment and safety in a community.
Hon Vuniwaqa mentioned that the Ministry will have to maintain a collaborative approach and strengthen the relationships between stakeholders, faith based organisation, men, women’s groups and community members in combating violence against women and children in Fiji. She said that women and children can call the toll-free telephone number 1560 to receive assistance, which is a 24 hour service.
The Viani Villagers were also reminded during the ‘Talanoa Session’ about the women’s economic empowerment programmes, the newly introduced Insurance for Social Welfare Recipients, Bus Fare Scheme, Disability Allowance, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Family Care Leave and the Free Medicine programme.