A four-day ‘Male Advocacy Training’ program organised by the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation and Fiji Women’s Crisis centre concluded yesterday.
The workshop is part of the Ministry’s ongoing awareness on its Zero Tolerance Violence-Free Communities’ campaign and involved approximately 20 male participants who hold important positions of authority in their communities.
Held at the Government’s training centre in Nadave, the training looked at empowering men to take on a more leading role in eradicting violence against women and children in various communities across the country.
The program was supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and closed by the Development Cooperation – Fiji and Tuvalu Counsellor, Ms Joanne Chloe.
In closing the training, Ms Choe said gender violence is a deeply personal issue for every individual in this country.
“The issue of power between men and women is very personal and to see these male advocates who have been trained this week tell their experience and how they will apply it back home was very inspiring,” Ms Choe added.
Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) coordinator, Ms Shamima Ali said that the participants who are gatekeepers in their communities will return with the knowledge gained to educate and inform their respective community members on the need to respect women and girls and help fight all forms of violence.
“Men are very important in eradicating all forms of violence against women and girls and the knowledge they have gained will go a long way in achieving our objective of promoting gender equality and eliminating violence against women,” Ms Ali said.
Temesi Muimui, a youth representative from Nadevo, Levuka said the course was an eye opener for him which gave him a chance to change his mindset.
“This is a learning point and I look forward to spreading the news that women are human too and need to be treated equally,” Muimui said.
The training is part of a four module series which the 20 participants from Naitasiri, Tailevu, Rewa, Lomaiviti and Kadavu took part in.