The Minister for Home Affairs, Education, Land Management and Health, Charmaine Scotty said the policy will be applied across government departments and mainstreamed into policies and laws.
Scotty informed the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN that Nauru will introduce Gender Responsive Budgeting to ensure that the national budget allocations are equal and optimally applied so output is the same for both men and women.
“Moreover, a Gender Risk Assessment Unit attached to the Office of the President has been created which will oversee the implementation of these two important programs,” Scotty said.
She said a new Crimes Act 2015 has expanded the definition of rape and increased punishment for sexual offences.
According to Scotty, a greater understanding of the Crimes Act within the community has led to the rise in criminal reporting.
More resources have been allocated to the Domestic Violence Unit and training has been improved.
Scotty said the head of the Unit was recently awarded best female investigator of the Asia Pacific region standing tall amongst many of her nominated counterparts.
The government has strengthened Inter-Agency coordination with relevant stakeholders from the Ministries of Health, Police, Judiciary, including Faith-based organisations and community leaders to provide support to victims of sexual offences.
“The Inter-Agency taskforce has expanded its role to combat other root causes of social ills such as substance abuse. In this regard, a certain percentage from tax on liquor will go specifically towards the fight against domestic violence,” Scotty said.
While highlighting the progress made in putting in place governmental frameworks and initiatives, Scotty acknowledged the challenges ahead.
She pointed out that in a tight knit community like Nauru, which is the UN’s smallest member state, addressing issues like domestic violence and sexual offence often implicates members of families and circles of friends.
“Confronting an abuser means risking everything. And there is nowhere else to go. We would welcome the support to tailor our efforts to promote equality and eliminate discrimination so that they are appropriate to our uncommon circumstances,’ Scotty said.