The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women is called UN Women.
Grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the UN Charter, UN Women works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls, and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.
It provides support to inter-governmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms. It also helps UN Member States – including 12 Pacific Island nations that are also Pacific Community members – to implement these standards, forges effective partnerships with civil society; and leads and coordinates the UN system’s work on gender equality. UN Women also promotes accountability, including through regular monitoring of system-wide progress.
UN Women and SPC have a long-standing partnership. Currently, our Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) and Social Development Programme work closely with UN Women on the observance of women’s rights as well as the elimination of any form of violence against women and girls in the Pacific.
With support from UN Women Pacific since 2012, RRRT has been working with UN Women Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) Fund grantees to develop and implement advocacy and lobbying strategies for enactment of domestic violence (family protection) legislation. To date, Fiji, Kiribati, Kosrae State (Federated States of Micronesia), Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Tuvalu have enacted family protection laws.
Along with other stakeholders, UN Women works with RRRT to ensure that the protections offered to women under the new legislation are more easily accessible.
With their support, RRRT has held a Gender and Law consultation in Nadi, Fiji, which included the relevant stakeholders in government working on ending violence against women. In addition, the support provided by UN Women has enabled us to carry out training with Solomon Islands Justice Sector service providers before the country’s Family Protection Act came into force.
We also work with UN Women on the production of information and education materials for distribution to women and girls, in particular in Tonga and Vanuatu, with the purpose of increasing understanding of their rights to live in violence-free homes.