The Ministry of Internal Affairs has signed service agreements with 5 key service providers valued at $614,000 over 3 years to support economic empowerment of women and eliminate violence against women, as part of the Australian Government funded Gender Equality and Empowerment Project.
“I’m looking forward to the roll out of these projects,” stated Secretary of Internal Affairs, Bredina Drollet, “and I would like to thank the various organisations and people that have given their time and assisted in developing these projects”.
The Chamber of Commerce will take on a lead role in coordinating activities that increase economic opportunities for women already in business or proposing to start up a business.
The Cook Islands Tertiary Training Institute (CITTI) will provide both formal and informal training programmes and certificates which will help women learn more about business and business management.
These business courses will be supplemented by a mentoring programme which the Chamber of Commerce will coordinate to ensure that women in business who attend the CITTI courses have access to ongoing advice and guidance for their business development.
The National Disability Council will coordinate a programme that offers study, training and support into employment for women and girls with disabilities.
Punanga Tauturu (PTI) will lead the activity on eliminating violence against women. This is a specialist area in which they have worked for many years in collaboration with other key agencies – Police, Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Justice and a local men’s counselling service.
PTI will be responsible for developing a coordinated referral services policy, with support of relevant Government agencies, and has been provided with funding to enable women in need to access legal advisory services which were previously not available to them.
Training on improving public services in domestic violence cases will be provided by PTI on Rarotonga and the Pa Enua. The National Council of Women will provide advocacy services and training for women based on the results of the Ministry of Health’s 2014 Family Health and Safety Survey.
The Gender Project is funded by the Australian Government through the harmonised New Zealand Aid Programme. The funding is part of a $300 million commitment over 10 years to the Pacific under the Pacific Women Shaping Development Initiative.
Bredina Drollet, Secretary
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