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Fiji signs commitment

Ropate Valemei
Thursday, February 28, 2013

UP to seven in every 10 women have experienced violence in their lifetime and violence against women and girls are the most pervasive human rights violation.

In its bid to protect women's human rights, Fiji signed its commitment with the United Nations Women (UN Women) in Suva yesterday with Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Minister Dr Jiko Luveni saying it was time to end the pandemic, one commitment at a time.

"In response to the call by UN Women on governments to commit to end violence against women and girls, Fiji today (yesterday) signs on knowing that it has the political will and commitment to address the root causes of violence in our homes and communities through the enactment of progressive legislation that guarantee and protect women's human rights," Dr Luveni said.

She said there were some decrees in place to protect women and children in Fiji.

These were Domestic Violence Decree 2009, Criminal Procedures Decree 2009, Crimes Decree 2009, Sentencing and Penalties Decree 2009, Child Welfare Decree 2010 and the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007.

"There is increasingly a multi-sectoral working together as we realise the root causes of violence are multi-faceted," she said.

Fiji signed as one of 27 committed countries and the minister is looking forward to join an even larger number of countries at the Commission on the Status of Women meeting in New York next week.

She said this was to pledge the government's effort to eliminate violence against wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, aunties, nieces and granddaughters.

The ministry's permanent secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta said the media played a critical role in this area and the ministry needed support for awareness of this issue.