UN Women grant takes the issue of violence against women and girls into the classrooms

Date: Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Suva, Fiji

More than 50 people were present at an official ceremony where UN Women Pacific presented a grant of FJD $50,000 to the National Substance Abuse Advisory Council (NSAAC) at the Department of Youth and Sports Conference Room, Nasoqo House.

The grant was officially presented by UN Women Regional Programme Director, Ms. Lena Lindberg, to the Permanent Secretary for Education & Chairperson for NSAAC, Dr. Brij Lal.

The event was attended by representatives from the Police, Department of Women, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, UNICEF, UN Women as well as STAR students from different schools.
In her speech Ms Lindberg said, “Many educations systems and institutions shy away from the issue of violence against women and girls, or simply find it too difficult to address it in an organized manner”. She commended the initiative by NSAAC to address violence against women and girls in its drug-prevention programme for schools all around the country, adding the following to the action:  
·         Developing education materials on behaviors and attitudes;
·         Training teachers to address the issue and respond sensitively to students;
·         Visiting schools from the urban to remote rural areas around the country.
We simply cannot end this stone age phenomenon if we keep treating it as a welfare issue. It is important that we take a holistic cross-sectoral approach based on the right to development for women and girls”, she said.
The grant to NSAAC was made possible with funding from AusAID under the Pacific Fund to End Violence against Women, managed by UN Women.
NSAAC is a statutory body working under the Ministry of Education to collaborate with government ministries and non-governmental organizations, in order to identify, examine and address problems related to drug and substance abuse in Fiji. The project by NSAAC will start early 2013.