FIJI: Bold and Brave Women

Monday, May 25, 2009
Fiji Times Online
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

THE Fiji Women's Crisis Centre has been a pillar of strength for women in Fiji for more than two decades.

It is a bold and brave non-government organisation that goes the extra mile to give women justice.

Not only the work it does is admirable, the people who work in the centre are brave and admirable.

FWCC co-ordinator Shamima Ali said the four main pillars of their principles were human rights, democracy, rule of law and the Constitution.

When there are breakthroughs, when resistance to women's rights eases, when gender sensitive policies and legislation are introduced and when conservative forces start talking about women's human rights positively, are some of the challenges FWCC works on says Ms Ali.

FWCC provides crisis counselling and legal, medical and other practical support services for women and children who are sufferers and survivors of violence committed against them by men.

The centre is also involved in public advocacy and community education on gender violence.

The centre's strategies are based on the conviction that violence against women is a fundamental human rights and development issue.

The centre's work addresses all forms of violence against women including rape, beating, sexual harassment and abuse of children.

FWCC is a respected professional organisation that was established in 1984 and has succeeded in influencing public opinion in Fiji so much that many sectors of society recognise and support the need for emergency services and ongoing support for women subjected to any form of violence.

Over the past four years the FWCC has done pioneering work to document, analyse and support the development of practical programs and services to deal with the problem of violence in contemporary Pacific society. The FWCC is well known and respected in international circles and its work is enhanced by participation in global networks of women working against violence.

In past years, the centre has consolidated its work and is now in a position to share its experience and expertise with Pacific organisations whose work involves efforts to combat violence against women.

It has a branch in Nadi, Ba and Labasa.

Ms Ali said some of the centre's achievements include seeing the work on the elimination of violence against women (EVAW) being recognised by donor agencies and government, being recognised as one of the best practice models on EVAW in the world and being able to contribute to the development of Fiji.