FIJI: Empowering Women

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
The Fiji Times Online
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security
Human Rights

The assistant secretary general of the UN, Lakshmi Puri, made remarks on the need for women around the world to address some of the core issues relating to gender equality.

Ms Puri said there were three main areas she thought needed attention.

"Ending violence against women and girls must be a priority. From sexual violence to intimate partner shooting in the US and elsewhere," Ms Puri said.

The second priority area, she said, was the provision of equal opportunities for women as there were for men.

"And third, women's voices must be heard.

"It is time for women to participate equally in decision-making in the household, the private sector and institutions of governance."

Fiji's Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni acknowledged the three problem areas highlighted and noted that Fiji was making steady progress in ways of improving gender equality.

"In Fiji, there has been an increase in the reported cases of violence against women and children.

"This means that there is an increase in awareness as a result of the legislative framework through the Domestic Violence Decree 2009 and Child Welfare Decree."

Dr Luveni said it was important to realise that sustainable development could not be achieved without empowering the women into economic, social and political pillars of development.

"Victims of violence and abuse have actually started to speak out issues that once used to be hidden but have now come to the forefront.

"Women and children are now more aware about their rights," Dr Luveni said.