MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Parliament – Pacific Parliamentarians focus on ending family violence
Three New Zealand members of Parliament (MPs) joined members from across the Pacific and Australian Parliaments for the third Pacific Women’s Parliamentary Partnerships Forum in Suva, Fiji.
The forum held last week had a particular focus on the role of legislators in ending family violence.
The New Zealand MPs who participated were the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) New Zealand Co-Chair, Louisa Wall, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association New Zealand Chair, Jacqui Dean, and the newly elected Chairperson of the CWP Pacific Region Steering Committee, Poto Williams.
Ms Dean contributed to a panel about legislative measures to prevent family violence. Ms Wall spoke on holding Governments to account on actions to end family violence, and the role of lawmakers was the topic of Ms Williams’ contribution.
Both men and women parliamentarians discussed the devastating impact of violence, giving practical examples of solutions drawn from Australia, Pacific States and New Zealand. Members were motivated to continue to make positive change, but agreed that legislation on its own would not be successful in ending violence.
It would also require funding sufficient to implement policy and legislative change, along with working effectively with families and communities, and non-governmental organisations.
The annual forum is part of a wider programme called Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development. It supports the professional development of MPs and parliamentary staff, and helps women of the region to work together. It also supports research into gender equality and ways to make parliaments more gender sensitive.