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Australian High Commissioner launches 16 days of activism

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23rd November, 2017 A two-day training on Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Emergencies for district and town officers held at Tanoa International Dateline Hotel this morning, marked the Official Annual Launching of the 16 Days of Activism Calendar 2017 and the marking of the White Ribbon Day.

The Australian High Commissioner to Tonga H.E. Mr. Andrew Ford.  Emphasized that “Ending violence against women is a priority for Australia both domestically and in our international development efforts. It requires coordinated, multi-sectorial approaches which have women’s safety at their core, combined with attitudinal changes within every community.”

He stated that he was delighted to take part in a program at Tupou College earlier this week in which he spoke to the staff and students about ending violence against women.

“Australia is pleased to be a strong supporter of the work of the Women’s Affairs Division in Ministry of Internal Affairs. We acknowledge all the work that Women’s Affairs Division has been doing with partners such as other line ministries, NGOs, civil society organizations and donors to coordinate a program for the 16 days of activism,” he said.

Mr. Ford told the gathering that he was delighted that the recent election resulted in two female candidates being elected into parliament.

“We hope these events and milestones translate into positive outcomes for women across Tonga.”

White Ribbon Day

Head of the Sports Division under the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) Mr. ‘Onetoto ‘Anisi said, “Wearing a white ribbon signifies commitment to ending all forms of violence against women and girls.”

“The Sports Division continues to support the initiatives regarding the elimination of gender based violence and discrimination.”

Mr. ‘Anisi said White Ribbon Day is a reminder to him to walk the talk and to be an example of a father who encourages gender equality at home, advocate for inclusive gender parity at all levels in the community and to ensure that programs, policies and services at the Sports Division and MIA are gender blind.

Gender Based Violence Training

Acting Director of the National Emergency Management Office Mr. Mafua Maka said, “The National Emergency Management Office and MEIDECC has worked together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs on advancing local leaders awareness and understanding of GBV in Tonga  and supporting activities to prevent GBV in emergencies.

Mr. Maka admitted that GBV in emergencies have significantly increased the level of vulnerability of women and children as well as people with disabilities after a disaster.

He said that the two-day training is a significant step in aligning efforts across key stakeholders towards preventing GBV in emergencies.

The 16 days of activism will feature program such as float awareness parade, People Living With Disability Celebration Day, Elimination of Gender Based Violence, Youth Dialogue on Anti-Corruption, World Aids Day Fashion Show, disability information and celebration day, choral festival, opening of a new legal aid Centre, launching of Tonga Leiti’s Association website, signing of the Tonga National Centre for Women and Children’s Women’s Economic Empowerment program and the launching of WCCC’s crisis helpline which will reach out to outer islands and will conclude on 10 December with a Po Hiva Choral Festival Tribute, Marking of 16 Days of Activism Against Violence.

The 2017 launching programme was coordinated by Ministry of Internal Affairs in partnership with MEIDECC NEMO and Tonga National Centre for Women and Children.  The 16 Days of Activism Calendar was developed by the 16 Days of Activism Coordinating Committee, a collaborative partnership between Ministries of Internal Affairs WAD, Police, Health, the Government of Australia, Civil Society Forum Tonga, Ma’a Fafine mo e Famili, Family Free Of Violence, Talitha Project & Peace Corps, Tonga Leitis Association, Tonga National Youth Congress, Tonga National Leadership Forum, Secretariat of the Pacific Community RRRT, UN Women and the Women and Children Crisis Centre.

ENDS

Issued by the: Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications.

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 24 November 2017 09:22 )  

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