Project aims to end abuse

Guest at the launchof the Pacific Partnership to End Violence against Women and Girls at the PIFS office in Suva. Picture: JONA KONATACI

AN inaugural million dollar regional project aimed to end violence against women and girls in the Pacific was launched at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva yesterday.

The project is an initiative between the European Union, Australian government, Pacific Community (SPC), Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and UN Women.

The project is aimed to bring together governments, civil societies, communities and other partners to promote gender equality to prevent violence against women and girls.

Pacific Islands Forum secretary general Dame Meg Taylor said there was a need to raise more awareness on the issue which affected a lot of women and girls in the region.

She told the forum she had seen how partnerships on ending violence against women and girls had grown in communities.

“We can learn much from the efforts of our people to deal with violence against women,” Ms Taylor said.

EU delegation for the Pacific head of co-operation Christoph Wagner said they were committed to gender equality, the empowerment of women and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls around the world.

“We are proud to be funding this new and important partnership program in the Pacific to address the causes of gender inequality and violence against women,” he said.

Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes said the issue was a challenge in his home country too.

“While the Pacific Partnership is a new program, it builds on decades of work by Pacific Island governments, regional organisations, the women’s movement, civil society and countless individuals across the region.

We are proud to stand alongside our Pacific neighbours,” Mr Feakes said.

The program corresponds with the start of the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, from November 25 to December 10.

The $46.79 million program is funded primarily by the European Union ($30.48m) with targeted support from the Australian Government ($11.76m) and cost-sharing from UN Women ($1.44m).

It is being jointly co-ordinated by the Pacific Community (SPC), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (Forum Secretariat) and UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office.

More Stories