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Pacific Talanoa: Violence to drop

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Update: 12:41PM USING a new strategy that is Pacific-specific and which it is optimistic about, the UN Women believes it will see a dramatic drop in the rates of violence against women in the region.

Speaking at a Talanoa about regional initiatives to end violence against women and girls being done in the Pacific, Aleta Miller, the UN representative in the Pacific said the Pacific had some of the best research data in the world.

Ms Miller said the work to end violence against women finally had good news in that the experts knew gender inequality was the cause.

"Everyone has a role to play in stopping it - from the education sector to faith communities to sporting codes," the UN Women rep said.

Using a position of support to encourage a multi-faced approach towards Pacific countries, the UN Women is working towards developing a national framework to prevent of violence against women and girls.

Ms Miller told the members of the talanoa, which consisted of NGO reps and gender people present at this week's CIVICUS International Civil Society Week at USP, that UN Women was pioneering a Pacific strategy.

Aimed at changing social norms, the strategy works across what it says is the three key pillars of Pacific society.

"Faith, education and sport - to bring about a sea change in how people think, feel and act towards women and girls," Ms Miller said.

"To end violence before it starts, we must focus on transformation. Transformation of ideas, norms, attitudes and beliefs about men and women. Transformation of power - who has it and who doesn't. Who should have it, and who should not. About violence - its impacts, its role."

The UN's womens agency says its investment is going to program which unpack "the gender norms, the social norms that justify and perpetuate violence".

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