ICRW Releases New Report on Australia’s Violence Prevention Initiatives in the Pacific

Article Date

06 March 2015

Article Author

Ibadet Reller

Media Contact

Anne McPherson

Vice President, Global Communications email [email protected]

The International Center for Research on Women recently released findings from a review of Australian aid initiatives working to end violence against women. Commissioned by Australia’s former Agency for International Development (AusAID), now the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), ICRW conducted a review of the relevance and effectiveness of four initiatives addressing violence against women in Fiji, Vanuatu and PNG. The review aims to help strengthen the Australian aid programming and ability to make strategic investments in efforts to prevent and respond to violence against women in the Pacific region.

The study found that the four initiatives offer promising results and that they have great potential to inform future work to end violence against women in the Pacific. In assessing the Male Advocacy Program in Fiji and Vanuatu, the study found that this program has been effective in prompting significant individual and intra-personal changes among participating men. And the review of Vanuatu Women’s Centre’s (VWC) Committees Against Violence Against Women (CAVAW) shows that the program is very effective in fostering gender-equitable attitudes and improving access to vital services for survivors of violence in Vanuatu.

“The Pacific island countries have some of the highest rates of violence against women in the world. We commend the Australian government for working to address this global issue, and investing in research to strengthen its programs,” said ICRW’s Stella Mukasa, director, gender, violence and rights.

The report points to areas in which the initiatives have been effective and offers concrete recommendations in which effectiveness could be improved in advancing DFAT’s framework for ending violence against women, which include: preventing violence; increasing women’s access to support services; increasing women’s access to justice; and strengthening the enabling environment.

“Violence is preventable. At ICRW, we believe that policies and programs must be guided by evidence based insight that shows us what is working and what is not, so we are able to develop effective policies and programs that bring about real progress and results for women and girls. Research shows us the best pathway forward,” added Mukasa.