Borne out of the Network’s very first meeting in 1992, the Pacific Regional Meeting on Violence Against Women and Girls in the Pacific has consistently taken place every four years with the 6th meeting being held this year. Compared to around 20 women participating at the network’s first meeting, there is expected to be approximately 60 participants taking part in the 6th meeting.
According to Shamima Ali, the Network Chair and Coordinator of the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC)“the network has endured and grown in numbers from 2 Crisis Centres’ in 1992 to now approximately 37 programs specifically addressing violence against women and girls in about 13 countries. The network celebrates successes, recognises struggles, identifying new and emerging issues and plans strategies for moving forward.”
The theme Responses to and Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls will be vigorously critiqued by members of the network who will look at responses in terms of both best practices and gaps in the area of services for survivors which will include, but not be limited to, policing of violence, the justice system and legislative responses.
Members and participants will also examine the definition of prevention and what types or methods of prevention are currently being used throughout the Pacific which will include strategies used for working with young people, EVAW campaigns and research.
It is also anticipated that best practices unique to the Pacific will be highlighted as strategies which are treading new territories such as the Male Advocacy Program designed specifically by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre in close collaboration with the network.
“We already know what the problems are in the Pacific in terms of ending violence against women and girls, so at this meeting we will be more focused on gaps and the provision of services and state responses.” says Ali.
Members and participants at the 6th Regional Meeting include representatives from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Bougainville, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Samoa, Kiribati, Marshal Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia and Tonga.
The meeting will be held from 12-16 November 2012 at the Novotel Hotel in Nadi and will begin with the official opening at 9.00am on Monday 12 November. The meeting is supported by AusAID.