Patriarchy remains the biggest barrier to addressing violence against women and girls.
Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator Shamima Ali made the comment during a five-day workshop on gender-based violence and human rights for 60 women from Namara Village in Ra.
The Centre is facilitating the training following a request from the village tikina council which noticed an increase in the cases of violence against women and children in the area.
Ali says it is encouraging to see village leaders recognizing the need for a change in the mindset of men and calling for immediate action against violence.
The training also includes advocacy, response and prevention.
Ali adds such training sessions have proven effective as more women are now seeking help and speaking out instead of remaining silent.
The training focused on gender, human rights, violence against women and girls, child sexual assault, and legislation.
The Centre has received 751 reports of violence against women and children for the first seven months of this year.