February 14, 2017 8:55 am

Women train men on women matters

The Ministry of Women has organised a 5-days ‘Public Service Male Advocacy Training’ beginning today in Suva that will promote the importance of gender equality in the workplace.

The Minister for Women, Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa opened the workshop which had the participation of senior representatives from various Government agencies.

Senior officers from respective government agencies during the Public Service Male Advocacy Training at Pearl Resort.
Senior officers from respective government agencies during the Public Service Male Advocacy Training at Pearl Resort.

The training is an empowerment program for men to understand gender equality, to be gender sensitised and to be transformed as well given the patriarchal upbringing in some Fijian communities. Gender mainstreaming is a cross-cutting initiative across the civil service, and this training is an enabler to bring about gender equality.

Hon. Vuniwaqa stated in her remarks that gender plays a significant role in the development and it has been universally recognised in the consolidation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals [SDG] and SDG5 which is Gender Equality.

She said that gendered perceptions of male and female roles in society are so deeply entrenched in everyday life that they’ve become social norms leading to the many faces of the disempowerment of women when they step out of these standards into what is perceived to be male dominion.

The workshop is facilitated by Shamima Ali of Fiji Women’s Crisis Center (FWCC) and Glenn Davies who is the Gender Advisor for the Ministry.

The training is taking place after 18 months of buildup programs as part of a suite of activities regarding the implementation of the Fiji National Gender Policy.

Hon. Vuniwaqa also congratulated FWCC for championing the Male Advocacy program in Fiji and said she hopes this program penetrates into every level of society – from the classroom to the pulpit.

The Hon. Minister encouraged more collaboration amongst stakeholders to bring the message home to our children who will one day be the leaders of our country.