Fiji pledges to develop gender-inclusive policies and laws, improve protections against gender-based violence

Fiji has a gender-responsive and socially inclusive Constitution, and now, for the first time, a female speaker leads Parliament and four women possess significant ministerial portfolios. Over the last seven years, the Government has increased funding to the national women’s machinery by some 320 per cent. With adequate funding and human resources, it will continue to strengthen gender-disaggregated data to better influence policies. It intends to amend criminal laws to make them modern and gender inclusive, with family laws already amended to recognize the rights of women in de facto relationships, and provide legal protection in terms of spousal maintenance and property rights. A domestic violence law that allows any person to apply for a domestic violence restraining order has been introduced, while the police are now legally obligated to enforce measures to promote the safety and well-being of victims of domestic violence, particularly women and children. Speaking at the Global Leaders' Meeting on 27 September 2015, Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama said: “We are leaving no stone unturned to ensure the success of our national gender policy and ensure that gender equality is a strong thread woven through all our work.” [Speech]