The Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre held a one-day training session today (3 May 2016) with development officers from the Fiji Rugby Union and teachers involved in schools rugby on understanding child protection and gender equality.
Eleven participants from Rugby House, including representatives from the Ministry of Education, attended the training at FWCC’s head office in Suva.
FWCC counsellor-advocate supervisor Farzana Rahim helped participants understand the human rights framework of empowerment and women’s and children’s human rights.
She also helped add clarity in understanding the genderising process – how society and culture defines what women and men are ‘supposed’ to be.
Male advocate for women’s human rights and lawyer Tevita Seruilumi took the participants through relevant laws, including the Child Protection Decree 2010.
With about 38,000 primary school children and 10,000 secondary students registered in various FRU schools rugby programmes across the country, it was vital the governing body understood and developed its own child protection policy, said FRU National Development Manager Sale Sorovaki.
International donors are increasingly requiring child protection to be implemented in organisations in which children are involved.
Mr Sorovaki said the training was particularly useful in improving the skills of rugby administrators and those who are on the frontline of rugby development in villages and schools, particularly when it came to being aware of and identifying child physical and sexual abuse.
Participant Tihrani Uluinakauvadra, the Oceania Get Into Rugby coordinator, said child protection was an area the local rugby fraternity needed to focus on.
Mr Uluinakauvadra said the training session helped participants understand the many areas that rugby administrators must take into account when dealing with children.
He added one of the best outcomes of the workshop was completing the first phase of a draft child protection policy.
FWCC Coodinator Shamima Ali said she looked forward to a continuing partnership with the Fiji Rugby Union, particularly with supporting the Fijiana women’s team in their Rio Olympics bid.