Aliutu women weave and talk about domestic violence

A four day workshop started yesterday for the Aliutu women’s weaving group with funding from the United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women also known as UN Women.

Leader of the group, Mrs. Mana Talagi told BCN news that they were very fortunate to receive this funding which enabled them to conduct this workshop to support women and children affected by domestic violence during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Sergeant Jackson from the Police department was one of the presenters today at the workshop talking about gender-based violence and the types of or what constitutes gender-based violence. One of the few male participants today spoke about his life as a perpetrator but has now completely changed his ways.

One of the participants told BCN news that she hopes some good will come of this workshop because there is still the traditional view that domestic violence is a personal matter. While others want to talk and act, some still want to tread carefully for fear of drawing attention to themselves.

The Aliutu Women’s Weaving group secured funding of NZ$22,000 for their activities to “Stand up and Speak out” against domestic violence for the next six months. Mana Talagi says that other organisations from other Pacific countries supported with similar funding include four groups in Tonga, and one each from Palau, Niue and the Cook Islands.

Niue is one of the few countries in the Pacific without a domestic violence law. The draft Family Law bill has been in the pipeline for more than ten years and has still not made it to the Fono Ekepule.

Over the Christmas and festive period there were two cases of domestic violence which resulted in the men being held in prison overnight.

There are no shelters for women and children who suffer from domestic violence in Niue. Mrs Talagi told BCN news that maybe this is something the government can look into, building a shelter for women who are abused by their spouses and one shelter for the men who are abused by their wives.

The four days workshop started with weaving lessons yesterday, an awareness program with stakeholders today, weaving hats tomorrow, and weaving of the lili tomorrow.

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