Pictured: Participants in discussion on the way forward in the elimination of violence against women and girls with disabilities in Fiji
The Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) held its first National Training of Trainers workshop on the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls with Disabilities from the 19 February to 1 March in Suva.
A total of 25 participants consisting of men, women, youths with disabilities, family members, volunteers and supporters were able to broaden their capacity on the different types of violence against women and girls and had sessions on understanding the current legislation, law reforms and policies relating to the protection of women in Fiji.
The Pacific Disability Forum Gender and Youth Officer, Ms Naomi Navoce said that the training sessions included preventive measures such as awareness raising, advocacy, data collection, basic counseling skills and how to use the media.
“The training also focused on prevention and protection as well as response. This was based on the inclusion of provisions for women and girls with disabilities and how services and facilities can be more inclusive using the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the CEDAW as a tool.”
“They also identified gaps to improve statistics and indicators on disability, segregated by gender and age.”
“Data collection on violence against women and girls, including women and girls with disabilities must be taken into account,” reiterated Ms. Navoce.
Government need to ensure that the monitoring and evaluation of the impact of policies and programs are done more effectively to ensure the elimination of violence against women and girls and the rights of women and girls with disabilities.”
“As we celebrate the International Day of Women on the 8 of March 2013, Pacific Disability Forum urge leaders to address violence against women and girls with disabilities,” said Ms. Naomi Navoce.
“In addition to the forms of violence against women with which most of us are familiar, women and girls with disabilities also experience specific forms of violence that are associated to their disability.”
“For example, in the case of women with Intellectual impairment, their lack of understanding of the situation during a sexual assault and/or their inability to say no can be perceived as their consent to sex.”
There are also other specific barriers that women and girls with disabilities have to address and that includes information and communication in accessible formats; and barriers to mobility or other services that could provide assistance. This issue of multiple discriminations deserves particular attention.” concluded Ms. Navoce.
This Training of Trainers was made possible through the support of the UN WOMEN Pacific Regional Ending Violence against Women Facility Fund as a pilot project in Fiji in partnership with the Fiji Disabled Peoples Federations, with the support from the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre and the Regional Rights Resource Team in facilitating the two weeks training.
The Phase one of the training was officially open by the Director Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, Ms. Amelia Komaisavai from the Office of the Prime Minister and officially closed by the UN WOMEN Regional Project Manager for the Pacific Regional EVAW Facility Fund Project, Ms. Tupou Vere.