DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 11/04/15 4:00PM

1 MALE ADVOCACY IS ESSENTIAL FOR CURBING VIOLENCE: AKBAR – Men have an important role to play as strong and responsible advocates for helping the reduction violence against women, says the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar.

2 MINISTER HIGHLIGHTS POLICY REVIEW AT WOMEN?S FORUM – The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation is in the process of reviewing its policies on women empowerment and collaboration, says the Minister, Hon. Rosy Akbar.

3 EXPRESSION OF INTEREST FOR EVENT COORDINATOR FOR WOMEN?S EXPO – The Ministry of Women is now looking for individuals or organisations to coordinate the 2015 National Women?s Expo (NWE).

4 GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO SPORTS DEVELOPMENT: TUITUBOU
– The Fijian Government remains committed to sports promotion and development across the country, said the Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Laisenia Tuitubou.


1 MALE ADVOCACY IS ESSENTIAL FOR CURBING VIOLENCE: AKBAR

Men have an important role to play as strong and responsible advocates for helping the reduction violence against women, says the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar.

Minister Akbar reiterated this while officially closing the fifth Fiji Women?s Forum held at Holiday Inn in Suva yesterday. The three-day forum which looked at developing strategies to ensure effective participation of women into local governance was organised by the Fiji Women?s Rights Movement (FWRM), Femlink Pacific, National Council of Women and Soqosoqo Vakamarama.

In her closing remarks, Minister Akbar said that committed male leaders and their support is important in achieving gender equality. She further commented that the Prime Minister?s support in eradicating violence against women will influence change.

?Our very own Prime Minister, the Hon. Voreqe Bainimarama stated in Kadavu early last year that the reported ?high levels of violence against women is a national shame?. This is the kind of leadership we need at all levels of governance, from Parliament, to the machinery of government, to the Private Sector and within communities,? Minister Akbar said.

The FWRM Executive Director, Ms Tara Chetty said that the Fiji Women?s Forum commits to strengthening their partnership with the Fijian government to empower women.

?The Forum will do this by compiling a database of 1000 women of merit, including young women to share with the government entities towards promoting effective participation in local governance. The Forum looks forward to work together with the Fijian Government to promote gender balance through implementation of CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Fiji National Gender Policy,? Ms Chetty said.


2 MINISTER HIGHLIGHTS POLICY REVIEW AT WOMEN?S FORUM

The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation is in the process of reviewing its policies on women empowerment and collaboration, says the Minister, Hon. Rosy Akbar.

She highlighted this while officially closing the fifth Fiji Women?s Forum held at Holiday Inn in Suva yesterday.

?The Ministry will review its current Memorandum of Understanding with the Fiji Police Force to address the gaps in the implementation of Decrees namely Domestic Violence Decree and Child Welfare Decree. This would strengthen the work around elimination of violence against women and children.

?The Bainimarama-led government through its laws is committed to making gender equality happen. The reviews and new agreements will enhance opportunities for socioeconomic empowerment of women in Fiji.

?Likewise, the Ministry will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Ministry of I-Taukei Affairs to ensure a more targeted approach in addressing women?s economic empowerment. A Memorandum of Understanding will also be signed with faith-based organisations to collaboratively address gender-based violence within non-I-Taukei communities,? Minister Akbar said.

The Minister for Women reiterated that work in solidarity is important to advance gender equality in Fiji.

?Domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment and sexual assault respect no class, status, economic or professional standing or ethnicity. Therefore, solidarity of individual women and women?s groups is more critical now.

?The Ministry through the effective implementation of Fiji?s National Gender Policy, which will promote gender mainstreaming and gender sensitisation of the whole of government machinery. We now need to have a stronger, collective voice for the cause to take centre stage nationally at every level.

?I also thank all our international development partners, corporate stakeholders and women?s NGO partners for being there when the Ministry needs them,? Minister Akbar explained.


3 EXPRESSION OF INTEREST FOR EVENT COORDINATOR FOR WOMEN?S EXPO

The Ministry of Women is now looking for individuals or organisations to coordinate the 2015 National Women?s Expo (NWE).

Building on the success of the first expo held in 2014, the Ministry is now looking to interested parties to work with them to organise the 2015 event.

The NWE will also observe and commemorate ?International Rural Women?s Day on 15 October, 2015.

The Minister for Women Hon. Rosy Akbar said this year?s event is expected to grow large interest from the public, especially women living in rural and maritime communities across the country.

?The role of the event coordinator is really to design, plan and organise the 2015 NEW and coordinate the Divisional Craft Show throughout the four divisions,? Minister Akbar said.

?The role will involve organising event sponsorship and partnership, marketing and promotions, communication and publicity, travel and accommodation of participants, program logistics and the operations of the expo.?

The event coordinator will also be in-charge of developing a detailed budget for the NWE, provide the Women?s Ministry with an activity plan and negotiate potential markets and buyers of products after divisional competitions.

At the conclusion of the expo, the event coordinator will provide a written report of the NWE to the ministry along with a contract completion report to the permanent secretary for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation.

Written submission with cover letter, updated curriculum viate (CV), work plan for NWE, proposed fee and three contacts for referees should be marked as ?EOI ? Event Coordinator: National Women?s Expo? and addressed to:

The Permanent Secretary

Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation

5th Floor Civic Towers

PO Box 14068

Suva, Fiji.

Closing date for submission is Monday 20th April, 2015 at 5pm.

The event coordinator is expected to begin work from May for six months.


4 GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO SPORTS DEVELOPMENT: TUITUBOU

The Fijian Government remains committed to sports promotion and development across the country, said the Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Laisenia Tuitubou.

The Minister pointed this out at the opening of the Fiji National Sports Commission (FNSC) annual conference in Suva today.

Minister Tuitubou said government has disbursed financial resources and contributed significantly to the assistance of rural community sports and the promotion of physical activities for a healthier lifestyle.

?Government has increased budget for the Sports Ministry with 67 per cent of the ministry?s total budget set aside solely for sports development. This is a substantial amount which equates to a little over $11.2 million as announced during the 2015 budgetary allocation,? Minister Tuitubou said.

He said the sports grant from the 2015 national budget was increased along with more international coaching grant to ensure the improvement of all sporting fraternities.

Highlighting the recent fact finding mission to Australia, Minister Tuitubou said the visit was targeted at the establishment of the country?s first ever National Academy of Sports ? an institution which when set up, will become an integral part of athletes? sports preparation.

?It will contribute immensely to the elite athletes? development and performance through sports science, sports medicine, strength and conditioning, nutrition and diet. Government has paved the way for sports development to take shape in Fiji.

?Works have started at the Vunidawa sporting complex in Naitasiri with the visiting Chinese survey and design team who are currently in the country. To add to that, Kadavu and Gau will bear witness to the ever growing emphasis placed on sports development in the country through multi-sporting complexes set to be constructed on these two islands,? Minister Tuitubou said.

Promotion of sports in Fiji will also see the celebration of a National Sports Day holiday on Friday, 26th June, 2015.

?This day is especially set aside to allow all citizens of Fiji to celebrate sporting accomplishments and understand the health benefits of participating in sports activities. The ministry and the organising committee is therefore looking forward to the support of all national sporting organisations in order for the successful celebration of this inaugural sports holiday.?