Gender violence, symptom of moral decay

Ratu Inoke Kubuabola responds to questions on what the Fiji Police Force was doing to address VAW in Parliament May 15, 2018. Picture: PARLIAMENT LIVE

VIOLENCE against women (VAW) and children is a symptom of the moral decay of society and that is a problem that everyone, not just the government, must help to address.

The problem cannot be solved by the Fiji Police Force (FPF) alone although it is working at various levels to reduce VAW incidence says the Minister for Defence and National Security Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.

“This is true, there is a decay of moral and family values and all of us can work on that,” Ratu Inoke said.

The minister was responding to Government back bencher Alvick Maharaj’s queries on the FPF’s initiatives to address violence against women and children.

He explained the FPF like other government departments it had a formal arrangements with to address VAW, took its cue from the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

CEDAW was adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly and is often referred to as an international bill of rights for women for the recognition it requires parties to give women.

Ratu Inoke explained the FPF sits on the women and law taskforce, an advisory body to the Minister for Women and insisted it was an active participant  of that forum.

“The Fiji Police Force co-chairs the committee on elimination of violence against women and children. In this capacity, the FPF provides policy advice,” he said.

Data on gender based violence is sourced from the FPF statistics unit to the government departments and civil society organisations (CSOs) working in the gender based violence space, he said.

“On an organisational front, the FPF has a number of initiatives, corporate key performance indicators (KPIS) specifically to address VAW,” he said.

He said the force was using a five pillar approach to conduct strategic awareness activities and they were sports, music, religion, vanua and youth.

Asides increased awareness activities, Ratu Inoke said the force had strengthened its investigation capabilities, specifically in its sexual offences unit and also increased visibility patrol in areas it considered ashotzones.

“The FPF is strengthening its execution of the no drop policy and zero tolerance,” he said.

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