Violence against women: Need to strive towards transforming social norms – Lewaqai

Apolosi Lewaqai. Picture: SUPPLIED

If we are to be successful in our collaborative journey towards the fight in the elimination of violence against women and girls, we would need to strive towards transforming social norms that allow violence against women and girls to continue.

Commissioner Western Apolosi Lewaqai shared this when he officiated at the launch of Empower Pacific’s 16 Days of Activism campaign in Lautoka last week.

Representatives from the public and private sectors were informed that the journey towards equality and the empowerment of women remained a significant one.

“We need to ensure survivors have access to quality response service and to support national and regional institutions to meet their commitments to gender equality and the prevention of violence against women and girls,” Mr Lewaqai said.

“Working through partnerships allows for the promotion of equal rights and opportunities through innovative approaches to education, access to essential service and policy development.

“It is our responsibility to stand ready to support each other in translating the national targets and in achieving results towards the prevention of violence.”

Fiji, Mr Lewaqai noted, had made great strides most notably in the level of representation of women in political and democratic decision-making.

However, he said there was still much more to be done.

Mr Lewaqai added that gender-based violence was rooted in poverty, conflict and in unequal power dynamics.

He said evidence also suggested that climate change was also a contributing factor to gender-based violence.

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