Vuniwaqa instrumental in pushing forward Fiji’s gender agenda – Ali
16 Aug, 2021
FWCC urges Vuniwaqa to ignore those misogynists who are trying to bring her down through gutter-level journalism
By Vijay Narayan
Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator Shamima Ali and former Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa. [Image: File Photo]
Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator Shamima Ali says no efforts to derail the character and credibility of former Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa can derail the tremendous work she has done for Fiji and the women of our country.
Acknowledging Vuniwaqa’s work, Ali says the former Minister was instrumental in pushing forward Fiji’s gender agenda and putting women’s human rights on everyone’s agenda.
She says while they are shocked to learn about her exit from the government with no real reasons known as to why according to Ali the reality of the matter is Vuniwaqa was Fiji’s best cabinet minister to work with.
Ali says Vuniwaqa was instrumental in bringing together Civil Society Organizations and working with them with an open heart.
She says Vuniwaqa worked very closely with feminist movements in Fiji like the Crisis Centre and she always demonstrated the highest levels of integrity, credibility and had the ability to listen and learn, which is a very rare commodity in the present leadership.
Ali says the Ministry for Women and the Department of Social Welfare were in shambles before Vuniwaqa took over.
She has also expressed her utter disappointment with the alleged forced resignation of Vuniwaqa for allegedly standing by her principles and the actions of gutter-level journalism.
Ali says in partnership with stakeholders and the feminist movement, the former Minister was able to push for the National Service Delivery Protocol which was launched under her watch; reinforced the Gender-Based Violence Taskforce and ensured its ongoing longevity; launched the National Domestic Violence Helpline 1560 and was the driving force for the National Action Plan for the prevention of violence against women and girls which is in the process of development.
She says Vuniwaqa also ensured that Fijian expertise was consulted and utilised first before looking beyond our borders.
The Crisis Centre Coordinator says the former Minister was and is a champion for inclusivity and ensured under her watch that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community was included in every document.
Ali says they are sad that Vuniwaqa will no longer be at the helm of the ministry, she has stood out as a great leader, and will continue to do so and has a great future ahead of her.
She urges Vuniwaqa to ignore those misogynists who are trying to bring her down through gutter-level journalism and other insidious means, and carry on regardless.
Ali says Vuniwaqa has a lot love and support from many in this country and she is a true daughter of Fiji and they stand by her.