Young Male Advocates graduate
25 young male participants completed training to advocate for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The WCCC in collaboration with the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) held the 1st Stage of the Male Advocacy for Women’s Human Rights Training from June 08th – June 11th.
The training aimed to increase understanding about men’s role in preventing violence for men between the age of 18 and 35. Rev. Makisi Finau, Evangelism Director and representative from the Free Weslyan Church of Tonga was the guest of Honour. He highlighted the role of religion in eliminating violence “We, church leaders have to admit that there is violence in every part of society in Tonga and we need to show our support to the centre’s work by using the prevention strategies in our missions in the communities”, said Finau.
The lead trainer was Ms. Shamima Ali, the FWCC Coordinator and Chair of the Pacific Women’s Network Against Violence Against Women accompanied by Edwina Kotoisuva, FWCC Deputy Director and the WCCC Director, ‘Ofakilevuka Guttenbeil – Likiliki.
The training was funded by the UNFPA and its representative in Tonga, Chief Nursing Officer, Sela Sausini Paasi attended the closing ceremony together with the guest of honour, Tonga Police Force Chief Commander Christopher Kelley. “It is never OK to exercise violence. That is not to say you cannot and should not protect yourself if you or another person is in danger of death or grievous bodily harm. Like it or not the victims of violence are predominantly women and children who by their situation are very often least able to protect themselves. There are core values in Tonga of faka’apa’apa (respect), compassion (‘ofa), humility (loto fakatokilalo), and reciprocity (feveitokai’aki). God makes no distinction and nor should we in our approach to each other” said Kelley in the closing ceremony.
After completing the training, participants said:
“Domestic violence is not a solution nor should it e used to release our anger as a way to discipline our children or even our wives at home. Domestic violence can be stopped if we make it a habit to use other ways to discipline our children when they misbehave such as giving them chores to complete and at the same time letting them know that what they did was not good.”
“It is my strongest belief that both parents should support each other for a healthy and happy family.”
“This workshop has had a huge influence in my life. I realized that it actually depends on yourself and how you present yourself to the world, people will respond to it in the same way. For instance- if you use good behavior then this will be witnessed, good behavior everywhere is essential. In addition, we men should support the rights of women to possession, property, power and title.”
“Violence that is committed towards women and children should definitely be stopped! This can be accomplished individually!!”