Fiji Multi-Country Office
UN Women’s Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO) works with governments and civil society organisations across 14 Pacific Island countries and territories to address gender inequality, empower women and build more inclusive societies.
Within the Pacific, there is a growing recognition that empowering women fuels thriving economies, spurring productivity and growth. To this end, some progress towards gender equality has been made at regional, national and community levels.
Notable achievements to close the gap in gender equality in the Pacific include the fact that there are now more girls then ever enrolled in schools and graduating, more women taking up senior professional roles, and new legislation to protect women and girls from domestic violence.
Despite these gains, there is still much work ahead.
While women are increasingly active in the business sector, they are still more likely to be in low wage or unpaid family employment. The Pacific still has the lowest global percentages of women in leadership roles including the world’s lowest overall average of women in parliament.
And although women are now more protected by domestic violence laws passed in 10 Pacific States between 2008 and 2014, the Pacific still has twice the global average of violence against women. Further, increasingly severe natural disasters in the region pose a risk to women, with women and children 14 times more likely to die in a natural disaster than men.
To address these issues, UN Women Fiji MCO focuses on delivering on four interlinked programme areas underpinned by support for intergovernmental and normative processes:
- Women’s Political Empowerment and Leadership (WPEL)
- Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE)
- Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG)
- Gender and Protection in Humanitarian Action (GPiHA) and Disaster Risk Reduction
The Fiji MCO Office covers Fiji, Solomon Islands, The Republic of Marshall Islands, Palau, Kiribati, Samoa, Tuvalu, Tonga, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Tokelau, Niue, Cook Islands.
News and Updates
Vanuatu is among the world’s ‘most at risk’ countries to natural disasters. In the last 12 months alone, the country has faced multiple volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, cyclone and tsunami. The largest humanitarian emergency was caused by volcanic eruptions on the island of Ambae which resulted in the evacuation of over 8,000 people.
I come from a family where I hardly had a say. When they spoke, I listened. I myself had the mindset that rugby was a male sport, and when I used to see women playing rugby, I commented [negatively] about them. I am so lucky to be part of Get Into Rugby PLUS! When I started this role, I coached the under 10th grade [rugby team] in my school, and the male parents looked at me and laughed— ‘a woman being a rugby coach!’ I said to myself, ‘I’m not going to be undermined by their looks and their comments; I am going to be stronger for the children’.
Rugby, often considered a male sport, is levelling the playing field for girls and boys, men and women in the Pacific island of Fiji. “It’s an honour and a privilege to be a Get into Rugby PLUS coach,” says Kitiana Kaitu, a primary school teacher from Nasinu, Fiji. She has recently qualified as coach and life skills trainer for the Get Into Rugby PLUS programme. “I’m not just a rugby coach, but also an advocate for those who cannot voice their opinion. I love that I’m working together with others for the future of the nation,” she adds.
Seventeen communities in the Kingdom of Tonga have benefitted from the Rights, Empowerment and Cohesion (REACH) community outreach program that reaches those farthest behind.
The impact of climate change has been greatly felt by market vendors who are heavily reliant on their market sales for their income and today; members of the Silae Vanua Market Vendors Association (SVMVA) were able to share their experiences of how they are addressing such changes with the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Gutterres, at the Port Vila Market, during his first official visit to Vanuatu.
Notice anything different at the Central Market lately? Thanks to a joint effort between the Honiara City Council and the Honiara Central Market Vendors Association, market vendors are now enjoying a cleaner and a healthy working environment as a result of the facelift that the market has received as part of the refurbishment work, supported by UN Women Markets for Change Project to the Honiara City Council (HCC).
The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has formalized its ongoing partnership with the UN Women Fiji Multi-Country-Office through today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.
Close to 30 highly skilled coaches have learnt new ways to support equal and safe rugby participation for girls and boys in Fiji. The training, which finished on the weekend, teaches coaches how to deliver the Get Into Rugby PLUS life skills curriculum to girl and boy rugby players aged 10-14 years, and follows a series of safeguarding, strength and conditioning training held earlier this month in Central and Western divisions.
The bustling markets in the Pacific islands of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are lifelines for women farmers and vendors, who grow and sell much of the food.
Special Issue - Tropical Cyclone Winston | May 2016. In this issue: (*) Collecting the stories of Winston (*) Addressing the needs of women and girls (*) Getting the response right for women (*) Shaping the recovery process (*) Assessment crucial to ongoing activities (*) Preventing and responding to violence.