Ways to Reduce Violence Against Women and Girls with Disabilities in Samoa and Kiribati

Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2019

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE: PDF, Australian Government, UN Women

Wednesday 27 February 2019 (Samoa and Kiribati – Regional Pacific event in Nadi, Fiji) – Two new toolkits will help eliminate violence against women and girls with disabilities in Kiribati and Samoa.

The Toolkit on Eliminating Violence against Women and Girls with Disabilities, supports ending violence against women and girls (EVAWG) organisations and partners to work with disabled persons organisations (DPOs) to ensure women and girls with disabilities are integral within programmes and projects.

Photo: Courtesy of Pacific Disability Forum

The new toolkits provide country-specific guidance and are translated into the Samoan and iKiribati languages, building on the success of the Fijian toolkit launched in 2015.

They are developed by the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) in partnership with the UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO) and the national disabled persons organisations Nuanua O Le Alofa (NOLA) in Samoa and Te Toa Matoa (TTM) in Kiribati. The project was supported by the Pacific Regional Ending Violence Against Women Facility Fund, a UN Women project formerly funded by the Australian Government.

“Women and girls with disabilities face multiple layers of discrimination in our Pacific societies due to their gender, impairment and stereotypes; and it is time to right this wrong,” said Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) Chief Executive Officer Mr. Setareki Macanawai.

“With numerous plans, policies, programmes and activities at both regional and national levels targeting women in general, it will be interesting to find out how inclusive these initiatives are of women and girls with disabilities.”

“The Toolkit on Eliminating Violence against Women and Girls with Disabilities developed in Kiribati and Samoa with national disabled persons organisations (DPOs) in both countries playing a critical role, support ending violence against women and girls with disabilities.

“Women and girls with disabilities are not only victims of such violence, but they need to be part of the solutions as well. These toolkits which are also translated to local languages in both countries are key steps for such engagements and all stakeholders at all levels are invited to make good use of them.”

“The Pacific Disability Forum is thankful to the UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO), our member national DPOs in Kiribati and Samoa as well as the Government of Australia for their technical and funding assistance which contributed to the successful completion of this project,” said PDF CEO Mr. Setareki Macanawai.

Speaking at the launch, Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner to Fiji, Anna Dorney, said “the Australian Government is continually working towards improved advocacy, engagement and programming support, making the shift from recognition of rights to realisation of rights for people with disabilities across the Pacific. Disability is a cross-cutting priority for Australia’s international engagement in human rights, development assistance and humanitarian action.”

UN Women Fiji MCO Deputy representative Sarah Boxall said: “These toolkits are a significant achievement, one that involved a tremendous amount of time and energy and we congratulate all those involved. UN Women will continue to support disability inclusion across its work to end violence against women and girls through the Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls, funded by the European Union and the Australian Government with support from UN Women.”

The toolkits are being made available to agencies working in the EVAW and disability space. The Pacific Disability Forum, along with national DPOs, will continue to support the rollout and use at national levels.

PDF encourages service providers, development partners, donors, governments, CSOs, NGOs, private sectors, faith-based organisations and the community in general to work together and advocate for attitudinal and behaviour change towards persons with disabilities and most importantly work towards creating an inclusive society for all.

The Toolkits will soon be distributed to national government, civil society and PDF partner organisations in Kiribati and Samoa. The original Fijian toolkit launched in 2015 is online: http://www.pacificdisability.org/getattachment/Resources/PDF-Resources/Toolkit-on-Eliminating-Violence-Against-Women-And-Girls-With-Disabilities-In-Fiji-(1).pdf.aspx

 

Media enquiries should be directed to:

  • Soloveni Vitoso, Public Relations and Communications Officer, Pacific Disability Forum (PDF), Ph: (+679) 3312008, Mob: (+679) 8912653 or Email: infor@pacificdisability.org
  • Jacqui Berrell, Communications Specialist, UN Women MCO Fiji, Ph: +679 330 1178 ext 145 or Mob: 777 9097 Email: jacqui.berrell@unwomen.org
  • Australian Government, Australian High Commission Media, Dawn Gibson Dawn.Gibson@dfat.gov.au Mobile 7071258 phone: 3388390

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
About Pacific Disability Forum
The Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) is a regional peak body that works in partnership with Disabled Persons Organisations in the Pacific region.  Our aim is to build the capacity of these organisations and improve the lives of persons with disabilities in the Pacific through advocacy. Since our formation in 2004, PDF has worked hard to advocate for disability issues in our region and internationally.
Web: http://www.pacificdisability.org, FB: @PacificDisabilityForum, Twitter: @PDFSEC

About UN Women and the Multi-Country Office (MCO) in Fiji
UN Women is the global champion for gender equality, working to develop and uphold standards and create an environment in which every woman and girl can exercise her human rights and live up to her full potential. The UN Women Multi-Country Office (MCO) based in Fiji, covers 14 Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs): Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The Fiji MCO works to progress gender equality and women’s empowerment in the Pacific through four key programmes: Women’s Economic Empowerment; Ending Violence Against Women and Girls; Women’s Political Empowerment and Leadership; and Gender and Protection in Humanitarian Action.
Web: http://fiji.unwomen.org, FB: @unwomenpacific, Twitter: @unwomenpacific