Elimination of violence against women in the Pacific

Pacific Experts Prepare for CSW 57th Session in NY: Elimination of violence against women a priority

Pacific gender experts are strategising to represent the region’s interests at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 57th Session in New York next month.

A preparatory workshop was convened this week at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva in preparation for the 57th CSW that will take place in New York from 4-15th March.

Representatives from Pacific Islands Forum member governments, Civil Society Organisations, international and regional organisations and development partners discussed key gender issues and related negotiation strategies.

The 57th CSW priority theme is “The elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.”

In her opening remarks at the workshop, Deputy Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat, Ms Andie Fong Toy stressed the importance of the Leaders’ Gender Equality Declaration.

“The Leaders’ landmark Gender Equality Declaration is significant for us today because it acknowledges at the highest political level, the linkages between a woman’s status in life, and her health, well being, and overall quality of life,” said Ms Fong Toy.

“Through the Declaration, Leaders have committed to ending violence against women by progressively implementing a set of essential services, including protection, health, counseling and legal services, for women and girls who are survivors of violence.”

Ms Fong Toy added: “The Pacific region has already commenced work in this regard through the Pacific Islands Forum Reference Group to Address Sexual and Gender Based Violence. The Reference Group is the high level mechanism endorsed by Forum Leaders, to support our countries’ efforts to meet the Forum Leaders’ 2009 mandate to address sexual and gender based violence.”

Members of the Reference Group made presentations at the CSW preparatory workshop.

“The Reference Group members played an integral role in assisting the Pacific delegation to identify key achievements and challenges, and strategise on ways to eliminate and prevent all forms of violence against women and girls,” said Ms Fong Toy.

The workshop concludes today with a decision on the final composition of the Pacific Delegation to CSW’s 57th Session.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. Photo: forumsec.org

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