World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Women's advocate blames rape on political crisis

Women's advocate blames rape on political crisis

USP Pacific Journalism Online: Have your say:

SUVA (Pasifik Nius): A Fiji women's rights advocate has blamed an increase in inter-racial rapes on the country's political instability and says the abuse of women has become more frequent and intense.

Fiji Women's Crisis Centre coordinator Shamima Ali has also condemned police over an attitude that holds women responsible for being raped and are being oppressed against their freedom of movement.

On the FWCC's website,, Ms Ali has blamed the spread of violence against women on the "general state of lawlessness which has existed since the May 19 coup".

She said this was made worse by tensions and hostilities because of "irresponsible remarks" by leaders in the country.

In the Fiji Times today, Ms Ali was quoted as saying that recent comments by the Divisional Police Commander Northern, Superintendent Samuela Matakibau, indicated an "alarming move backwards" to fundamentalist ideals.

Matakibau had said girls in "vulnerable situations" would be taken into police custody and their parents asked to pick them up.

"What he has suggested is a gross violation of a woman's right to privacy and her freedom of movement," Ms Ali said.

"If this kind of attitude is allowed to grow and take hold in society, we are only a step away from the terrible situation we have in other countries, such as Afghanistan."

She said the police hid behind the notion that "it is our responsibility to stop crimes happening to us".

"When are they going to start doing their job?" she asked.

"Why are they saying they will take women into custody? Why aren't they saying they will in take men who are loitering or are acting suspiciously."

Ms Ali was also quoted in the Fiji Times as saying abuse within families had been contributed to by job losses, pay cuts, evictions, lack of coping skills and the inadequacy of law enforcement and the legal system.

She said that over the years women had become more confident in reporting cases of abuse.

Ms Ali attributed the change to lobbying by her centre and the Fiji Women's Rights Movement.

Coordinator Gina Houng Lee of the FWRM said her movement was also concerned about the rising rate of violence.



© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news