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Males engaged to prevent violence against women and girls

January 24, 2019 7:23 am

Men and boys in rural communities are being engaged in a partnership program that aims to prevent violence against women and girls.

Transcend Oceania implemented the one year program in three districts in Vanua Levu last year.

This week, they are revisiting the communities in Naweni Cakaudrove, Kubulau Bua and in Sasa, Macuata to evaluate the program and see the impact it has on the communities.

Dromuninuku Assistant Village headman Laijipa Tagimuri says the program has taught them to identify the root causes of all the social ills happening in the village and to find ways to solve those issues.

She told FBC News, as a result, for the first time in the village’s history, there were no violence or crime recorded during the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

Transcend Oceania Executive Director Adi Vasulevu Merewalesi Levu says the main part of the program is a cross-gender dialogue where men are trained to understand violence, conflict, and peacebuilding.

She says this has been a contributing factor to the changes experienced in communities.

“We need more of this because what we are hearing and what some data has confirmed, that out of three women, there is one who faces violence, or there is more than 50 percent of women facing violence in our community not only in Fiji but in the Pacific where we work as well as right here in this room. It’s about time to build this partnership, work together and hold responsibility.”

The evaluation at Dromuninuku yesterday saw members of the communities share deep-seated issues of violence they experienced and witnessed and how that has affected them as well as how tradition and culture have affected how they dealt with the issues.