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In the past 18 months, by trapping women with their abusers, COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have worsened the already-widespread violence against women while preventing many of them from getting help. But even those who do manage to contact the police come up against another long-standing challenge: a culture and system that treats the survivor as a big part of the problem.
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Gender-based violence crisis centres from six countries in the Pacific have faced not only the COVID-19 crisis, but also in some countries, the dual impact of a tropical cyclone. UN Women’s Ending Violence Against Women and Girls programme works in close collaboration with government, civil society organisations, communities and other partners to promote gender equality, prevent violence against women and girls, and increase access to quality response services for survivors, especially during emergencies.
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Nimarta Khuman, a Gender and Protection Advisor, explains what it means to incorporate gender and protection in humanitarian action and why it’s important.
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An unexpected visit sparked a glimmer of hope during a dark time in Arihi’s life. She is now an empowered survivor of domestic violence who now knows her rights and how to access financial and legal services.
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“When the cyclone finally arrived, we were all huddled in the house. The cyclone strength was getting stronger and stronger, and the damages started in the kitchen.” “The next morning, we saw the complete devastation in front of us. The roof was completely destroyed. All the doors and windows were completely damaged. The walls had collapsed because of the fallen roof. We all stood in shock, crying and holding on to each other,” recalls Sesalina Vaiangina...
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UN Women is working with women market vendors in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to improve their working conditions, earning power and leadership skills.
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As many as three in four women have experienced physical or sexual violence in the Pacific Island nation of Tonga, according to a National Study on Domestic Violence against Women in Tonga released in 2012. Yet until now, there was no law to criminalize domestic violence or establish prompt police safety and protection orders or prevention measures.
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Honaria’s central market in the Solomon Islands was dirty, crowded, and well known for petty crime and harassment – particularly for its mainly-women vendors. For many, making it “women friendly” was a lost cause.