Caption: FWCC ?Coordinator ?Shamima ?Ali ?stresses a point during the training in Nadi
Violence Against Women and Girls is rife in the Pacific and various programs are being developed to counter this.`26 participants from Fiji, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Tonga shared their ideas and experiences as the first day of their week long Stage 4 Pacific Male Advocacy Training of Trainers kicked off in Nadi yesterday.
The training is organised by the Fiji Women?s Crisis Centre as part of its Male Advocacy for Women?s Human Rights program since 2002 in Fiji and the Pacific and facilitated by Australian Masculinities expert Stephen Fisher.
Participants include police, religious organisations, youth, community workers and others who have been specifically chosen and trained to be able to properly respond to issues of violence against women and influence others in their spheres of work and to promote women?s human rights.
?Most of the men have been male advocates for nearly ten years and the stories of changes that have occurred in their own lives and their responses to women?s rights issues in their communities are exactly the objectives for which the program was developed,? said FWCC Coordinator Ms Shamima Ali.
?Another positive outcome has been the recognition by the male advocates that programs to eliminate violence against women and girls must be based on women?s and girl?s experiences of violence, discrimination and exploitation,? she added.
The 6 day workshop is to further deepen their skills in promoting women?s rights.
This program is recognized as a best practice model in the work on eliminating violence against women and girls, regionally and internationally.
The workshop is supported by Australian Aid.