Lack of consultation with women’s organizations will be a thing of the past if the NFP wins the elections.
The recent women’s expo held in Suva is indicative of unilateral decision-making between the Ministry of Women and women’s NGOs. This continues to be an issue with women’s organizations in the last couple of years as the Ministry of Women has continuously sidelined women advocacy groups in all its activities and decisions despite their years of valid credibility on this front.
“Dr Jiko Luveni has not respected the national structures and machinery of decision-making with women’s groups but has chosen instead to deal with individual women’s organizations and even individuals who have benefitted from the programs of the ministry of women. These divide and rule tactics will stop and women will truly be consulted in all decisions regarding women in an NFP Government.” said Fay Volatabu the party spokesperson for Women, Peace and National Reconciliation.
“The Ministry of Women was set up by the pioneers of National Council of Women Fjii (NCW Fiji) and the Soqosoqo Vakamarama i Taukei (SSV) to be the voice of women in parliament but in recent years the Ministry under Dr Luveni’s leadership has not been liaising with women’s NGOs choosing instead to undermine these structures”, added Volatabu.
Volatabu adds that if women’s progress is to be truly representative and reflective of all women then all umbrella organizations have to be consulted by the ministry as partners in all it’s programs as well as in the compilation of statistics in their research and reports.
On Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women, the National Federation Party has committed in its manifesto to:
- promote gender equality in access to productive resources, economic opportunity and decision making at all levels contributes to higher economic productivity and wellbeing for all;
- commit stronger initiatives to gender equality for women in Fiji because despite some progress they still have less access than men to policy decision making, employment and productive assets;
- commit to gender aware public policy and reforms to achieve gender equality to promote more rapid development;
- reform existing policies and programs to strengthen the voice and participation of women in households, communities and in society, including in local government, on boards and other levels of governance; and
- primarily concentrate on five pillars for achieving gender equality and empowerment of women:
(i) reduce gender based violence,
(ii) strengthen women’s endowments and economic opportunities
(iii)strengthen the legal and institutional environment,
(iv)transform social norms and practices and
(v) take measures to enable women’s participation in the policy domain by creating space for women’s collective action.
NFP spokesperson on Women, Peace and National Reconciliation.