19 Jul 2011

Women's participation key to reducing domestic violence, says UN

3:19 pm on 19 July 2011

A United Nations official says increasing women's participation in politics, the judiciary and law enforcement could reduce the region's high levels of domestic violence.

The United Nations Assistant Secretary-General of UN Women, John Hendra, is visiting Fiji to launch a report called Progress of the World's Women 2011-2012.

Mr Hendra says one issue for women in the Pacific is clearly domestic violence.

"Where there are much higher levels of women in the police force, there's correspondingly much higher levels of reporting of domestic violence, where there are greater numbers of women parliamentarians there tends to be much more progressive laws and outcomes in terms of social protection. I think there's a strong message in terms of increasing the number of women at the frontline of the legal and judicial infrastructure, and I think that's a message that certainly resonates here in the Pacific."

John Hendra will also attend a Pacific Women's Ministerial Meeting and open a new branch of the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre in Rakiraki