World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


30 Years Of 16 Days And We Are Still Fighting The Scourge Of Violence Against Women In The Pacific

As the annual 16 Days of Activism against violence against women and girls (VAWG) begins, a New Zealand Parliamentarians group call for greater efforts to combat violence against women and girls in our region, which must be led by our Pacific partners.

There are strong links between VAWG and access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Women who have been physically or sexually abused are one and half times more likely to have a sexually transmissible infection (in some regions HIV), and two times more likely to have an abortion (2013 figures). Intimate partner violence in pregnancy also increases the likelihood of miscarriage, stillbirth, pre-term delivery and low birth weight babies.

The numbers of women impacted are significant. A 2016 study by The Fiji Women's Rights Movement revealed that out of one thousand women surveyed, one in five had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. In Tonga, 8% of women experienced physical violence during pregnancy.

Our region continues to have one of the world's highest rates of domestic and sexual violence with an average across the countries of two in every three women in Pacific Island countries experiencing intimate partner violence across their lifetimes.

While there have been exciting developments across the Pacific, such as the successful establishment of The Sexual Harassment Policy for the Tonga Public Service in March this year, much more work remains to be done to ensure every woman and girl living in the Pacific is free from violence.

Angie Warren-Clark MP, Chair of the New Zealand Parliamentarians Group on Population and Development (NZPPD), said:

Prioritising sexual and reproductive health and rights for all is one of the key pieces in the puzzle to improving the lives of women and girls, and reducing the violence against them. Sexual and reproductive health and rights are vital for a person’s overall health and wellbeing and promote equitable access to education and economic opportunities. We must engage all genders in these important conversations to improve the lives of women and girls.

Hon Louise Upston MP, NZPPD Vice-Chair, added:

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges facing women especially across the Pacific, disrupting access to sexual and reproductive health services including maternal health care. We need to ensure that our responses to COVID-19 are gender sensitive and address the ongoing violence women and girls face in their communities across the Pacific.

Notes to editors

-16 Days of Activism against violence against women and girls is an international campaign that takes place each year. It commences on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, until 10 December, Human Rights Day. This year marks its 30th anniversary.

-NZPPD is a cross-party parliamentary group which focus on population and development issues in the Pacific including sexual and reproductive health and rights and women’s empowerment.



© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Save The Children: World Leaders Urged To Halt Escalating Hunger Crisis

A group of 120 non-governmental organisations has joined forces in an open letter calling on world leaders to do more to halt a devastating global hunger crisis as new analysis shows the number of people likely to be in need of humanitarian aid in 2022 could rise by 17%...More>>

WMO: Another La Niña Impacts Temperatures And Precipitation – But Not Climate Change
La Niña has developed for the second consecutive year and is expected to last into early 2022, influencing temperatures and precipitation. Despite the cooling influence of this naturally occurring climate phenomenon, temperatures in many parts of the world are expected to be above average because of the accumulated heat trapped in the atmosphere...

UN: Violations Of Palestinian Rights Puts Two-State Solution At Risk, Chief Warns
The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to pose a significant challenge to international peace and security, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, said on Monday... More>>

Oxfam: Failure To Vaccinate The World Created Perfect Breeding Ground For Omicron, Say Campaigners

Campaigners from the People’s Vaccine Alliance say the refusal of pharmaceutical companies to openly share their vaccine science and technology and the lack of action from rich countries to ensure access to vaccines globally have created the perfect breeding ground for new variants such as Omicron... More>>

World Food Programme: Millions More In Need Of Food Assistance As A Direct Result Of Conflict In Northern Ethiopia

The number of people in need of humanitarian food assistance across northern Ethiopia has grown to an estimated 9.4 million as a direct result of ongoing conflict, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today... More>>

Food: Three Billion People Cannot Afford A Healthy Diet

Approximately three billion people, almost 40 per cent of the world’s population, cannot afford a healthy diet and another one billion people would join their ranks should further unpredictable events reduce incomes by one-third, the UN food agency said, launching a new report on Tuesday... More>>

  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC