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Sexual cases lack priority

Litia Cava
Thursday, November 30, 2017

THERE is a lack of priority in addressing sexual harassment cases in Fiji, says Fiji Women's Rights Movement (FWRM) board chair Makereta Waqavonovono.

Ms Waqavonovono attributed her statement to a follow-up survey that was conducted by FWRM last year on sexual harassment in the workplaces and revealed that one in five Fijian women were found to be sexually harassed at their workplace.

"According to our study, 22 per cent of women surveyed said they had a workplace policy on sexual harassment, 16 per cent said they did not have a policy and 21 per cent did not know," she said.

"Another concerning finding was that the vast majority (82 per cent) of the cases go unreported.

"There is an urgent need for awareness and training to ensure that staff and workers know about the workplace policy and how to seek redress if they've been a victim/survivor of sexual harassment."

With an aim to create awareness and collaborative efforts to combat sexual harassment in the workplace, FWRM held its first meeting with the International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination (ICAAD) this week.

"The training is especially timely because this week is also the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, with November 25 marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women," Ms Waqavonovono said.

"This is a motivating factor that supports this training because we aim to upskill our staff members and other key stakeholders who can then provide support and service to other organisations."








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