For many women living in the Pacific, relationships, resilience and creativity underpin their strategies in addressing the cross-cutting challenges they experience. Family violence is a significant compounding factor, as surveys estimate that up to two-thirds of women living in the Pacific have faced some form of violence in their lives. This seemingly intractable level of gender based violence is being addressed through legal and policy instruments that seek to promote human rights, gender equity and empowerment. A number of specialist services have emerged over the past fifteen years, but both mainstream and specialist services are weakened by a range of structural governance constraints. The mainstay of women’s strategies and responses to violence remain their own informal coping strategies. A fine-grained understanding of how women cope in situations of domestic violence, the structural and personal constraints that affect their help-seeking; and the likely sources of intervention and protection is therefore necessary. The session on gender-based violence will focus on four in-depth qualitative research projects in Melanesia that have directly asked and discussed with women and other key stakeholders their experiences of domestic violence and their perspectives on all forms of assistance and support they have received. In addition to short overviews of the projects, there will be a panel discussion based on the research findings.
Chair:Judy Putt, Research Fellow, Department of Pacific Affairs, ANU
Speakers:Mary Aisi, Deputy Head of Department, Department of Communication & Development Studies. University of Technology
Miranda Forsyth, Associate Professor, Centre for Restorative Justice, RegNet, ANU
Dora Kuir-Ayius, Lecturer in Social Work, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Papua New Guinea
Tracey Newbury, Director, Gender, Pacific and Capacity Support Section, Gender Equality Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Anouk Ride, Solomon Islands-based researcher and writer
Michelle Rooney, Research Fellow, Development Policy Centre, ANU