SUVA, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Fiji launched a national action plan to prevent violence against women and girls for the next five years on Friday, and committed an initial 1 million Fijian dollars (about 400,000 U.S. dollars) for the fiscal year 2023-2024 to stop violence before it starts, the Fiji government said on its Facebook page.
While addressing the opening ceremony, Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Lynda Tabuya said Fiji faces some of the highest rates of gender-based violence in the world.
There can be no progress when Fijian women and girls in all diversity live in cycles of violence at home, at their workplace, while going to school and while on public transportation, Tabuya added.
She said the national action plan centers on dismantling the culture of patriarchy and the pillars of gender inequality across all aspects of the whole society.
Fijian Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said in a video message on Friday that the statistics and number of women and girls who are victims of domestic violence in Fiji are horrific and are a national disgrace.
In Fiji, at least 3 in 5 women, or 60 percent of women, have faced some form of domestic violence, while 1 in 5 women have faced sexual harassment at their workplaces, the prime minister said, noting most of them pretend that everything is okay but are suffering behind closed doors.
According to the Fiji government, Australia has provided 6 million Fijian dollars (about 2.4 million dollars) for the plan.