A NEW mobile phone initiative, the M-Women program was launched on the eve of International Women's Day celebration.
M-Women, which was launched on Thursday, is aimed at providing everyone with the opportunity to get information regarding rape, child abuse and personal counselling sent straight to their mobile phones.
The initiative has come as a result of a partnership between the Ministry of Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation and the Vodafone ATH Foundation.
Speaking at the launch, the newly-appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Women of Fiji, Nazhat Shameem said: "The challenge for our society in 2013 is adopting ways to break the silence of the victims of gender-based violence in Fiji."
Ms Shameem said given the technological medium for women and children to report such instances could be a ray of hope.
"Any strategy will consider that the technology used by women and children can be used to break that silence.
"In considering this challenge in breaking that silence, the Vodafone Foundation with the Ministry of Women launches today (Thursday) its M-Women service, which will be available to every woman and child in Fiji who has a mobile phone."
Ms Shameem said this mobile phone service would mean the access to free legal advice on subjects such as domestic violence, rape, family law and child abuse.
"The service will use a panel of lawyers and paralegals chosen for their expertise and gender competence in these areas of the law," she said.
All that is required is for Vodafone customers to subscribe to the service, which is free of charge, by calling *727# and following the instructions given on the screen.
Once subscription is complete, customers have access to these paralegals and lawyers, who will deal with the issue sent to them and send you feedback on the matter.
All information is confidential.