Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Women continue to face formidable barriers

Despite the progress Fiji has made, women and girls continue to face formidable barriers that impede their full participation and contribution to society, says Women, Children and Social Protection Minister, Lynda Tabuya.

In her International Women’s Day Celebration message, Tabuya said discrimination, violence, unequal access to healthcare, unequal representation and lack of participation in decision making, and limited economic opportunities persist, holding back entire generations from reaching their potential.

“Today, I invite all Fijians to celebrate the role and significant contribution of women across our Island nation and to reflect on the challenges that we still face in ensuring that all Fijian women and girls are safe, protected, respected and can fulfill their potential – and thus realize the importance of investing in women to accelerate progress.”

“As the Minister for Women, Children, and Social Protection, I feel a deep sense of responsibility and commitment to advocating for the rights and empowerment of women across Fiji.”

She said investing in women is not just a moral imperative; it is a strategic necessity for achieving sustainable development and prosperity for all.

“When we invest in women, we invest in families, communities, and nations. We unleash the full potential of half of our population, driving economic growth, fostering social cohesion, and advancing human rights.”

“With that being said, Fiji has come a long way in changing the lives of women through international and regional treaty commitments, gender mainstreaming policies and programs, legislative frameworks and increased access to justice and education amongst others.”

Tabuya said the Fiji Government completely believes that gender mainstreaming across all sectors is crucial as it is a cross cutting theme.

“Fiji began its gender mainstreaming commitments through the 2014 National Gender Policy, calling on agencies across government to address the gender gaps and promote women’s empowerment through the strengthening of their institutions.”

“The journey from policy to implementation is now a reality through the Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting commitments of the Fiji Government.”

As part of the reforms under the Public Financial Management Improvement Plan (PFMIP), the Fiji Government has taken active steps to implement Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting (GRPB), which had been approved by Cabinet and supported by the Gender Transformative Institutional Capacity Development Initiative (ICD) led by the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Protection (MWCSP).

ICD is rolled out across Government institutions to establish the necessary capacities for ministries to undertake gender responsive planning and budgeting.

The overall goal of ICD is to create an enabling environment to ensure integration of all women and girls’ needs interests, concerns, contributions and perspectives into policies, strategies, programs, and budgets.

“We are sure that this transformative approach will surely change the status of Fijian women and girls in years to come and we will surely have more women and girls empowered in all sectors of the Fijian economy, with improved access to services as well.”

“With Government doing its part, I now ask every Fijian family and community to do better as well. Let us better invest in our women and girls to enhance their skills, talents and access to opportunities; let us give them a seat at the table and treat them as equals who have the same potential as the men and boys to contribute to the family and community; let’s listen to them and address their needs; let’s thank them for all that they do for their families and communities and let’s have them on board with the rest of us to make Fiji better.”

“There are many who are committed to turn the tables and on this International Women’s Day we thank all our stakeholders, development partners, foreign missions, non-government organizations, civil society, religious organizations, community-based organizations and male advocates for their commitment towards achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in Fiji.”

“I call on Fiji to re-commit and forge ahead together in strengthening our collaboration towards gender equality, equity and the empowerment of all women and girls this International Women’s Day.”

“I call on Fiji to partner with the Fijian Government in its own capacities to make gender equality a reality for a sustainable tomorrow. We truly owe a sustainable future to coming generations and it just cannot happen without gender equality today.”

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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