‘Abuse, Violence of Women And Children Rise During Disasters’
Complaints of abuse and violence against women and children during Cyclone Winston was three times higher than combined disasters between 2013 and 2015.
During the Fiji Medical Association conference yesterday, Minister for Women, Poverty Alleviation and Social Welfare Mereseini Vuniwaqa highlighted this and how women and children were affected as a result of climate change.
“It is well established that climate change has a greater impact on those sections of the population that are most vulnerable, whether in developed or developing countries and it exacerbates existing
inequalities,” she said.
“The effects of climate change also place women and girls at greater risks for bodily injury, rape and harassment when they must travel further and further away from home to secure household drinking water, fuel and food.”
Mrs Vuniwaqa said the trajectory towards gender sensitive and gender equitable climate governance policy, included adaptation and mitigation policy.
It involves developing activities such as improving women’s role in climate governance, through gender balance in representation and improved capacity building for climate negotiations for women.
“Poorly designed policies could easily undermine gender equality, climate and health equity goals and reduce public support for their implementation an essential aspect for achieving health equity,” Ms Vuniwaqa said.
“And climate goals is therefore a commitment to inter-sectoral action to achieve health equity and climate change in all policies. “Mitigation measures bringing about societal benefits should be prioritised and health is one of the clearest of the societal benefits. “Measures undertaken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the household energy, transport, food and agriculture, and electricity generation sectors, in both lowand high-income settings, can have ancillary health benefits which are often substantial.”
Participants of the 61st Fiji Medical Association conference at the Pearl Resort at Pacific Harbour on September 7, 2019.
From left: Minister for Women, Poverty Alleviation and Social Welfare Mereseini Vuniwaqa, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services Jone Usamate, Minister for Defence, National Security and Foreign Affairs Inia Seruiratu and Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete at the Pearl Resort at Pacific Harbour on September 7, 2019.