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FWRM welcomes PM’s statements on gender equality

FWRM welcomes PM’s statements on gender equality and family violence

The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement commends Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama on committing to working towards gender balance in national decision-making, and for strongly condemning the high levels of intimate partner violence prevalent in Fiji and the region. Bainimarama made the remarks at yesterday’s opening of the Pacific Women Parliamentary Partnership Forum.

The Prime Minister spoke of the importance of tackling domestic violence to improve the status of Fijian women and “to enrich their lives and those of their families. To enable them to reach their full potential. And above all, to provide them with an environment free from intimidation and fear”. He also drew attention to the recent death of journalist and women human rights advocate, Losana McGowan, as a result of gender based violence.

“We welcome the Prime Minister’s comments, as have our colleagues in the local and regional women’s movement, and look forward to seeing his strong statements reflected further in government policy and practice,” says FWRM Executive Director Tara Chetty.

“This includes the adequate resourcing and training of the police to fully enforce Fiji’s progressive domestic violence and family law.”

“We also look forward to working with the government to put into policy and practice the Prime Minister’s strong call for gender balance in national decision-making.”

FWRM, as one of four co-conveners of the Fiji Women’s Forum, has been part of a national call for temporary special measures to ensure gender balance in national decision-making.

Speaking to Pacific women Parliamentarians at the Forum opening yesterday, the Prime Minister had noted that “we have a long way to go to achieving true equality” in national decision-making. He added, “I commit myself and my Government to doing a lot more to achieve a balance as the months and years progress.”

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