Kiribati launched the Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls (Pacific Partnership) programme and revealed that selected schools across the country will be involved in a survey in the coming weeks.
In launching the Pacific Partnership today, the President of the Republic of Kiribati, His Excellency Taneti Maamau, referred to his vision of Kiribati as a nation that rejects domestic violence. The Pacific Partnership builds on existing efforts by government and civil society to reduce the sobering statistic where 68 per cent of the nation’s women have experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence – twice the global average.
Kiribati is a focus country for the regional EUR19.5million programme funded primarily by the European Union (EUR12.7m) with targeted support from the Australian Government (EUR6.2m) and cost-sharing from UN Women (EUR0.6m).
The Pacific Community’s Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) is leading SPC’s contribution to the Partnership in Kiribati – the Social Citizenship Education Programme. SPC is working with the Ministry of Education to integrate human rights and responsibilities, gender equality and social inclusion into the Moral Education, Social Studies and Health Education school curricula (Years 5-8), and also the Social Science curriculum (Years 9-10).
Also speaking at the launch today, Totite Barekiau – RRRT Kiribati Country Coordinator, explained that as a result of initial training with Ministry of Education staff, some school leaders and teachers, there is better understanding of the importance of these topics and already a desire to model social inclusion in the classroom.
Furthermore, Ms Barekiau revealed that over the coming two weeks SPC will partner with ChildFund Kiribati to conduct a baseline survey with school leaders, teachers, students and parents to find out what they know about human rights and inclusive education and how they feel about these topics being taught in schools. This information will be used to guide how these topics are delivered in schools and communities. She highlighted that “this partnership between Government, civil society and SPC is one of a kind and will involve eleven schools across the country”.
The survey exercise will be led by RRRT’s Team Leader for Monitoring and Evaluation, Danica Waiti, and will see more than 25 representatives of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Justice and ChildFund Kiribati trained and deployed in selected schools on South Tarawa, Abaiang, Abemama, Maiana and North Tabitaueua from 27 June through to 4 July 2019.
“Collecting baseline information is important because it will tell us about their knowledge and attitudes towards human rights, gender equality and ending violence against women and girls at this point in time. In three year’s time when we revisit the schools we can then measure the change that has occurred”, Ms Waiti said. “This is when we will know the real value of the programme”.