FIJI: AusAID to Target Women

Thursday, March 8, 2007
Fiji Times Online
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security
Human Rights

Women in Fiji will benefit from Australian efforts to reduce gender disparities in developing countries, under a new policy launched by the Australian Government.

Titled 'Gender Equality in Australia's Aid Program - why and how', the policy aims to reduce poverty by advancing gender equality and empowering women.

It highlights the link between gender equality, economic growth and sustainable development.

The policy sets out how Australia will support partner countries to achieve greater gender equality over the next 10 years.

Australia will support economic policies helping both women and men to access resources such as land and other assets, financial services, technology, training and markets.

Assistance will also be provided to strengthen women's leadership capacity, so women's needs and ideas are reflected through policies and in development programs.

Australia will continue to assist education systems that reduce gender disparities in primary and secondary education; support programs promoting equal access to vocational and technical education and provide scholarships so that women can increase their opportunities to work and earn an income.

Assistance will be provided to organisations that promote regional cooperation against people trafficking and support women's efforts at peace building in conflict areas.

Since 1991 Australia has provided financial (currently $FJ850,000 annually) and technical assistance to the Fiji, Women's Crisis Centre to reduce violence against women, both in Fiji and throughout the Pacific.

In 2006, Australia provided $FJ1.31 million for the construction of the FWCC's new building in Berry Road, Suva.

Australia also provides assistance to local organisations such as femLINK Pacific, Fiji Association of the Deaf and Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises N Development (FRIEND) to support programs that improve the livelihoods of unemployed and disabled women, as well as advocacy for and implementation of international commitments such as the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

Activities implemented through Australia's support to Fiji's Education and Health sectors ($FJ59 million) encourage inclusion of women in training and as trainers themselves providing positive role models for girls and works to improve workforce gender balance at middle and senior management levels.