Suva, Fiji – Whether it is in our homes; communities; sports; places of work, learning, or worship – gender-based violence is always unacceptable – anywhere it occurs and in any form it takes.
Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights. Its impact ranges from immediate to long-term multiple physical, sexual and mental consequences for women and girls, including death. It negatively affects women’s general well-being and prevents women from fully participating in society. Violence not only has negative consequences for women but also their families, the community and the country at large. It has tremendous costs, from greater health care and legal expenses and losses in productivity, impacting national budgets and overall development. While most Pacific countries have laws that criminalise gender-based violence, inadequate and uneven application of those laws detract from ensuring safety for women and girls.
Through the Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls (Pacific Partnership) programme, UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO) works with over 65 partners in the Pacific to address violence against women and girls in multiple ways through education, awareness, through partnerships with faith-based organisations, and through sports. For example, since 2017, UN Women Fiji MCO has partnered with Oceania Rugby to promote gender equality and breakdown stereotypes, demonstrating that violence has no place on or off the field.
“Whether it’s faith, the workplace, education or sports, UN Women is committed to working hand-in-hand with partners to mobilise communities to reject violence and support the rights and equality of women and girls. These are challenging spaces to work in but if change is to happen, all partners must keep persevering – strategically, boldly and together. Only then can we ensure that violence and harassment has no place in our communities, our homes, our schools, workplaces and sports clubs,” said UN Women Fiji MCO’s Ending Violence Against Women Advisor Abigail Erikson.
The Pacific Partnership is funded primarily by the European Union with targeted support from the governments of Australia and New Zealand and cost-sharing with UN Women. It brings together governments, civil society organisations, communities and other partners to promote gender equality, prevent violence against women and girls, and increase access to quality response services for survivors. The Pacific Partnership is jointly implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC) Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT), Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (Forum Secretariat) and UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office.