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Men in Lau stay away from talks on preventing violence

February 24, 2021 7:25 am

There was no participation from men on seven islands in the Lau Group during consultations on the National Action Plan to prevent violence against women and girls.

Minister for Women Mereseini Vuniwaqa says several invitations were sent out during the visit organized by the United Nations, but not a single man attended the consultations.

Vuniwaqa says it was pleasing to see women coming forward to share their stories however, the involvement of men is just as important.

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“I’m not surprised that men have not been part of the consultations and in a way, for me, I’m also glad. I’m not so sure that I would have got the same feedback from women if their husbands were sitting there, men will become a voice as well in this national action plan.”

The Minister adds that several reasons have emerged as contributing factors, including financial issues, alcohol abuse, and even refusals to have sexual intercourse.

UN Resident Coordinator Sanaka Samarashina says more resources are needed to address violence.

“The hopelessness of a woman, a child may not be a girl sometimes it may be a little boy, and this is one of the things I want to advocate more strongly about is the connection between child protection and protection of women and girls. There’s a lot of Cinergy there that we need to work on.”

With 162 women having taken part in the consultation, another key issue was reconciliation in the traditional manner and not by law.

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