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35+ years of activism & feminism in Fiji

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31 January 2020

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Fiji Women's Rights Movement

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FWRM training of trainers’ workshop (TOT) to improve women’s access to justice 31/01/20

Press Release: FWRM training of trainers’ workshop (TOT) to improve women’s access to justice

31/01/2020 

FWRM organised a 4-day training of trainers’ (TOT) workshop focused on women’s access to justice in Suva from 28-31 January, with support from UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO)

With 18 participants representing 10 community-based organisations, this is the second access to justice TOT to take place since the last training in January 2019 which was funded by the European Union.

FWRM’s current partnership with UN Women MCO is supported by the EUR22.7 million Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls (Pacific Partnership) programme, funded primarily by the European Union (EUR 12.7m) with targeted support from the Governments of Australia (EUR 6.2m) and New Zealand (EUR 3.2m) and cost-sharing with UN Women (EUR 0.6m).

According to FWRM’s 2017 research, it takes a woman an average of 868 days to access justice from the first time they experience violence and one of the reasons for this delay is lack of awareness of the formal justice sector agencies and pathways.

“The training is an important step forward in FWRM’s long-standing access to justice work. There’s increased awareness and recognition that violence against women and girls is an epidemic and that it will take all of us to address it,” said FWRM Executive Director Nalini Singh.

“This came out clearly during our info sessions in the communities as the demand for this training and the urgency was overwhelming.”

The objective of the TOT was to build the capacity and awareness of community advocates on human rights issues, women’s rights, gender equality, basic legal literacy, awareness of formal justice sector agencies and civil society organisations that provide access to justice support services.

“The participants are empowered to raise awareness on human rights issues and promote gender equality. The skills and knowledge gained from the TOT will help participants carry out info sessions within their own communities,” said Ms. Singh.

The TOT participants including representatives from the Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji, Adventist Development and Relief Agency, Youth Champs 4 Mental Health (West), Social Economic Empowerment Programme, TISI Maathar Sangam (Suva), Viseisei Sai Health Centre, Nadi Women’s Council, Soqosoqo Vakamarama Taukei Cakaudrove, Arya Nari Sabha (Vanua Levu) and Ba Women’s Forum.

Youth Champs 4 Mental Health (West) representative Mata Moce said the training helped her as a facilitator to better understand the law and women’s human rights.

“I feel empowered to go back to my community and advocate for women, young women and girls issues, especially those who may be facing some form of gender based violence that there is support and ways to seek help,” she said.

UN Women Fiji MCO’s Ending Violence Against Women Technical Advisor Abigail Erikson commended FWRM and the participants on their commitment to women’s access to justice.

“On behalf of UN Women and the Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls programme, I congratulate you all in completing your training and committing to prevent violence against women and girls. Your work as community leaders and trainers to share information on Fijian women's access to justice is critical and contributes to the overall effort we are all part of.”

Following the TOT, the participant organisations will be provided small grants to support the training and info sessions organised within their communities. FWRM will continue to strengthen these community partnerships and build on its collaborative efforts towards improving Fijian women’s access to justice.

END

Images from the TOT are available here https://wetransfer.com/downloads/369258ad60c51ba35aca23eb6fe9fad020200131025956/41bc19

For media enquiries please contact FWRM Communications Officer Maryann Lockington This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 8677330