Men called to engage in transforming social norms

Minister for Health and Medical Services, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete with participants of the Pacific Regional Dialogue on Engaging Men in the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls. Picture: SUPPLIED

MEN have been called to be engaged in transforming social norms that perpetuate violence against women.

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete made the call while officiating at the Pacific Regional Dialogue on Engaging Men in the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls at the Warwick Resort today.

“Of central importance to that transformation is engaging men; to have men and women working together to end the violence, working together to ensure we have safe homes and societies where women and girls are seen as equally valued and worthy as men and boys, where violence is unacceptable, where communities live in peace,” Dr Waqainabete said.

“This regional dialogue creates a critical forum to work towards the development of effective strategies to engage men and truly work together to prevent gender-based violence, including domestic violence, in our homes, villages and nation,” he said.

“It is an opportunity to exchange information and share ideas about existing programs and efforts to prevent violence against women and girls that focus on engaging men and boys, while building on our own Pacific Principles developed and agreed in 2016.”

Meanwhile, statistics from the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre notes that 64 per cent of Fijian women experiences intimate partner violence, with 295 cases of domestic violence in the first six months of 2019 – equivalent to 295 cases in 180 days.

“Almost all perpetrators of domestic violence are men – so men need to take responsibility and change attitudes and behaviours, and become more engaged in ending violence against women and girls.”

He called on participants to share experiences and evidence to create more impactful approaches to ending violence against women and girls.

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