Violence against women, girls costly

Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre coordinator Shamima Ali, Gender Equality Ambassador Stephaine Campbell, Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Prof Biman Prasad and Minister for Women Lynda Tabuya at the launch the Fiji National Action Plan to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls 2023-2028, at the Grand Pacific Hotel yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Deputy Prime Minister Professor Biman Prasad says violence against women and girls is costing the country about $300 million a year, a “heavy dinau that must end”.

Speaking at the official launch of the Fiji National Action Plan to Prevent Violence against all Women and Girls 2023-2028 in Suva yesterday, he said Fiji was the second country in the world after Australia, to adopt a whole-of-government, whole-of-population, inclusive, costed, and evidence-based national action plan aimed at preventing gender-based violence.

“Approximately $300m worth of violence against women and girls, is a burden too heavy and costly for Fiji in present-day terms, let alone the future — if left to inflate,” the Finance Minister said.

“It is not something to be proud of knowing that Fiji contends with one of the highest rates of violence against women and girls in the world.

“Sadly, more than 60 per cent of Fijian women have experienced some form of violence in their lifetime.

“Two out of every three women in Fiji have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of a male intimate partner in their lifetime, while one in three women has been subjected to physical and/or sexual violence from a man who is not their partner.

“One in five women has faced the harrowing experience of sexual harassment in their workplace.

“Tragically, just last month, the nation witnessed the devastating loss of two women who were allegedly killed by their intimate partners.”

Prof Prasad said the Fiji Government would provide $1m and the Australian Government $6m towards implementation of the plan.

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