Women parliamentarians from the Pacific including Fiji have acknowledged a huge challenge that lies ahead of them.
At the end of the Pacific Women’s Parliamentary Forum in Suva yesterday, participants have committed to working towards total eradication of violence against women in their countries.
Cook Islands Member of Parliament Selina Napa says the participants will now have to put into action what’s been discussed over the three day meet.
“We all have a burning issue in our countries with domestic violence and we have tried in this conference to address the issue of domestic violence and i am glad to say that we – women parliamentarians are trying to do something about domestic violence. Violence against women is a no, no! In my country and i suppose in al the countries in the Pacific, we women parliamentarians, lets us get behind and support this burning issue – to lower domestic violence in the Pacific.”
During the Forum, participants shared their country experience of domestic or family violence and what’s being done to stop it.
Niue MP Va’aiga Tukuitonga says they have a Family Law Bill but it is yet to be passed by Parliament. They hope to do that this year or early next year.
Tukuitonga says they hope to eliminate all forms of violence against women and children when the Bill is in place.
MP Magdalena Walter says for the Federated States Of Micronesia, there is a legislation in place that addresses family violence and it is in the process of becoming a law.
The discussions also revealed that alcohol is the main cause of family violence in almost all Pacific Island countries.
The participants will now take what they have learnt from the Forum and apply it in the context of their home country.