DOMESTIC violence experts from the US concluded a two-day women's rights workshop in Suva last week, happy with participants' response.
The workshop, a collaboration with the University of the South Pacific, focused on advocacy and community outreach strategies for women's rights and violence against women issues during the constitutional process, providing direct legal services to domestic violence victims as well as investigating cases and strategies for prosecuting cases using a skills-based approach.
"The workshop exposed individuals and organisations working on domestic violence and women's rights issues in Fiji and the Pacific to US approaches and experiences in addressing domestic violence issues," said Catherine Scott, the US co-ordinator of the program.
Experts conducting the workshop were impressed with the participants.
"We hope the information shared is helpful to our Fijian colleagues as they move forward with their work," said Maya Raghu, one of the legal trainers and an attorney with US-based organisation Futures without Violence.
Fellow trainer Miri Cypers, a senior policy and advocacy specialist of Jewish Women International, said she was incredibly impressed by her Fijian colleagues' deep knowledge and sophisticated approach to addressing violence against women.
The workshop was the second phase of the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative's (ABA ROLI) Pacific Fellows and Women's Rights Program funded by the US government.
The program works with individuals interested in women's rights issues to create a stronger, better educated civil society advocates empowered to advance the legal rights of women, particularly those who have experienced violence.