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Men join women's rights drive

Repeka Nasiko
Monday, February 10, 2014

ANOTHER phase of a program involving men as advocates of women's human rights will begin today with a seminar that will focus on developing the skills of male advocates on speaking the language of women's human rights.

Fiji Women's Crisis Centre co-ordinator Shamima Ali said national stakeholders were invited to the Stage Four Pacific Regional Male Advocacy Training of Trainers in Nadi today..

She said the seminar would involve representatives from Fiji, PNG, Tonga, Vanuatu and Nauru.

"Other national stakeholders have been invited to participate in the discussions, so that collectively we can develop a best practice model for working with men in Fiji and the Pacific," she said.

"There has been an overwhelming request from men around the Pacific to work with the women's movement in the elimination of violence against women and girls."

Ms Ali said over the years, the centre recognised that men needed to be part of the solution in the work of eliminating violence against women and girls.

"So we looked at programs around the world and picked those that had a women's human rights (or feminist) overview.

"We decided that the program would identify key males in our communities, particularly those that held influential roles and take them through an awareness program on gender, all forms of violence against women and girls, the laws, the challenges.

"The objective was for the men to examine and change their own behaviour and influence other men to do the same.

"Their role also would be to promote and protect women's human rights. Police, traditional leaders, youth leaders, military, religious leaders, government workers have all been part of this work."

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