Scaling up Pacific Efforts to End Violence Against Women and Girls
Date: Monday, August 13, 2012
UN Women is announcing a new call for proposals through the Pacific Regional Ending Violence against Women (EVAW) Facility Fund.
This Fund supports the prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls and improvement of multi-sectoral services for survivors of violence in Pacific communities.
Recently, the Fund received a major boost with an injection of AUD$5.2 million funding from Australian AID, which has prioritized ending violence against women as a key development goal in Pacific Island States. The region is benefitting from available research, which has revealed that as many as two out of three women in Pacific countries who have ever been in a relationship experience violence during their lifetime.
The Pacific Regional EVAW Facility Fund will support project proposals from civil society organisations and governments that address the elimination of violence against women and girls in Pacific communities.
The grants will be paired with intensive technical assistance for funded organisations to strengthen their capacity to implement projects with human rights and gender responsive approaches, core elements of transforming the problem of violence against women.
Technical support will also be provided regarding advocacy for policy development and effective organisational management.
The Pacific Regional EVAW Facility Fund project now reaches eight Pacific countries: Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu, with expanded support from Australian AID.
On the eve of the roll out of the new call for project proposals, the UN Women Pacific Sub Regional Office Regional Programme Director, Ms. Elzira Sagynbaeva, thanked the Government of Australia for its support since the Pacific Regional EVAW Facility Fund project began in 2009.
“This multi-year funding has provided the basis for UN Women and its partners to re-design and strengthen its ending violence against women and girls strategy of grant provision and capacity development. Governments and civil society organisations will further benefit from learning opportunities on the provision of support services for survivors of violence- which require specialized skills and on preventing violence from happening in the first place.
Funded organisations will also be technically supported to influence policies, legislation and budgets through advocacy strategies and tools. It is our goal to support civil society organisations and strengthen government offices and public systems to infuse human rights and gender equality throughout all services, and to use available data to develop targeted prevention initiatives and advocacy to end violence against women and girls in the Pacific.
Since its start, the Fund has already supported 260 individuals to participate in intensive regional and in-country training initiatives focused on addressing violence against women.
The Fund will continue providing grantees with the opportunity to connect and learn from each other through South-South exchanges among countries and in-country collaboration among organisations.”
To date, the Pacific Regional EVAW Facility Fund has supported 31 organisations in 5 Pacific countries to advance services for survivors and prevention.
For instance, in PNG, the Pacific Regional EVAW Facility Fund provided funding to the community-based Seeds Theatre Group, which works with unemployed women and men through traditional performing arts to raise awareness on the causes and consequences of domestic violence, sexual harassment in the workplace and bullying in schools.
The Seeds Theatre Group works in the densely populated communities of the Lae District in the Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea. The Group uses performing arts as a way to conduct awareness in public areas, including markets, bus stops and public neighbourhoods.
In highlighting their work, Willie Doaemo, the Technical Director said that the group makes it their business to gauge how their audiences respond to their performances. "Some feel guilty, others are concerned, and most women learn that there is help out there to protect their basics human rights. Many men who didn’t realize violence against women was a crime punishable by law have since admitted to their ignorance on the detrimental effects of their actions, and have made commitments to stop beating their wives," he said.
Mr. Doaemo said that on the other hand, the artists themselves have gone through a learning process by reading the drama scripts and carrying out the performances.
"Women are often seen as inferior beings in our society, and this thinking has been passed on from generation to generation," said Teddy Iwara, one of the actors.
"Through the gender training, the rehearsals and the awareness performances, I am starting to respect and collaborate with my mother and sisters in our home, and commit myself with the Seeds Theatre Group to end violence against women in the Lae District and Papua New Guinea," he added.
In addition to the funding from AusAID, the work of the Pacific Regional EVAW Facility Fund is also supported through contributions from the UN Women National Committee of Australia and UN Women National Committee of New Zealand.
The deadline for grant applications is 12 September 2012.
Interested organisations can obtain the application package from UN Women’s Pacific Regional Office website, http://unwomenpacific.org/pages.cfm/our-programmes/evaw/pacific-fund/2012-call-for-proposals.html.
(For media enquiries please contact Ms. Sainiana Radrodro, the UN Women SRO Communications Analyst ,on phone: 679 3301178/ 9994890 or email: Sainiana.email@example.com)