By Lisa Lahari-Williams - firstname.lastname@example.org
Pacific women and girls trying to escape or survive gender-based violence are losing out on millions in donor aid.
Award-winning Fijian activist Shamima Ali says aid programmes worth hundreds of millions of dollars are being skimmed by management contractors and international NGOs wanting to fund their programmes, rather than partner with existing Pacific organisations.
Ms Ali warned policy, research and donor partners during a recent aid conference in Australia not to damage Pacific networks at the heart of solving gender violence in our part of the world.
"For people like me, there's a fear that the work that has been built is again going to be diffused and when we have talked to our people already about culture, religion, and we've got them to a certain space where there is acceptance and wanting to talk about it," she says.
"Then we have these other programmes that are coming in, saying 'Oh we have to go softly' you know, with very patronising kind of attitudes."
Amnesty International New Zealand named Shamima Ali as its very first human rights defender in 2009.