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Top of the agenda

Tevita Vuibau
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

GENDER equality is one of the main issues to be discussed when the executive board of the UNDP/UNFPA and UNOPS visit the region this week.

The board, led by president and Fiji's permanent representative to the UN, Peter Thomson, began their visit to Fiji yesterday.

Fiji and the rest of the Pacific has had historically poor representation of women in parliament while at the same time having high levels of gender-based violence.

But this latest UN visit will seek to define the reasons for this and work towards a more positive outcome.

"We are one of the poorest areas of the world when it comes to the number of women in government structures and parliaments and that's all through our region compared with world norms," Mr Thomson said.

"Our levels of gender violence are high in a world context for the region so we will look at what is the UN doing to work with programs for the various national governments to increase women's participation in governments and also to lower or hopefully eliminate gender-based violence.

"In the Pacific region as a whole, including Fiji, there are levels of gender-based violence and under representation of women in parliament that we hope to be working on to correct that and bring that more into global norms and hopefully way ahead of global norms.

"Nobody wants to see their mothers and sisters, and daughters and granddaughters be subjected to that in the future."

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