A new toolkit was launched in Suva on 30 April 2015 to assist organisations in Fiji work more inclusively with women with disabilities when it comes to ending violence against women and girls. The toolkit has been developed by the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) in partnership with the Fiji Disabled Persons Federation (FDPF).
The “Toolkit on Eliminating Violence against Women and Girls with Disabilities in Fiji” will support ending violence against women (EVAW) organisations and partners in working with disabled persons’ organisations to ensure women and girls with disabilities are included in their programs and projects.
A study carried out in 2013 showed that 64 percent of women and girls in Fiji experience physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime, and global data shows that women and girls with disabilities are even more vulnerable.
PDF Chief Executive Officer Setareki Macanawai said: “We hope that this publication will assist EVAW organisations to better address violence against women and girls with disabilities and make prevention of violence against women a high priority. We must take a stand on this issue and speak up when inappropriate behaviour towards women and girls with disabilities occurs in the workplace, among families or in the immediate community.”
The Toolkit was launched by Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott Despoja.
“In all our efforts to eliminate violence against women we must include measures to assist those with particular vulnerabilities, to encourage the participation and active involvement of those with a disability and to ensure their access to justice and support services. The Toolkit recognises that it is the responsibility of society as a whole to work with women and girls with disabilities to ensure their rights are realised,” said Ambassador Stott Despoja.
The Toolkit was developed with the support of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and UN Women, through the Pacific Regional Ending Violence Against Women Facility Fund, a UN Women project funded by Pacific Women.
The Toolkit has been designed to be as practical as possible and accessible for people from a range of backgrounds and experiences. It focuses heavily on group exercises, role plays, activities and case studies, with a final chapter centred on action planning for the inclusion of women and girls.
Article prepared by:Pacific Disability Forum and UN Women. A copy of the Toolkit will soon be available on PDF’s website. For more information visit: PDF’s website and Facebook and UN Women’s website and Facebook.