The relationship between women’s economic empowerment and violence against women and girls is bidirectional, according to Asian Development Bank Senior Gender and Social Development Officer Ingrid Fitzgerald.
This has been revealed in a report, Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Pacific Region: A Comprehensive Analysis of Existing Research and Data, funded by the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative.
Fitzgerald says employment and women’s economic empowerment can be key pathways to supporting women.
“A study in Fiji found that partner violence can impact women’s income. About half of women who experience violence said their work was disrupted in some way.”
Meanwhile, the ADB has commended the Fiji Government’s efforts to address gender inequality.
Minister for Women and Children Lynda Tabuya says the ministry’s empowerment approach is twofold.
Tabuya says they are looking at empowering women economically; therefore, they are on a journey to put together a national action plan for women’s economic empowerment.
She adds that this has never been done before, and this would be the first time in Fiji.
Tabuya says they intend to launch the action plan within a year, which looks at empowering women at the grassroot level.