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FWCC Welcomes PM’s Statement On Violence Against Women

FWCC Welcomes PM’s Statement On Violence Against Women

The Fiji Women’s Crisis welcomes the statement on violence against women by the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey overnight.

The Prime Minister must be congratulated for the speech which recognises there is no excuse for violence against women.

FWCC Coordinator Shamima Ali said: "We welcome Bainimarama's statement on this global platform because it sends a strong message that violence against women will not be condoned.

“Violence against women and children in recent years has prompted national soul-searching and it is vital that our leaders speak out against the problem and also debunk the myths surrounding the dynamics of gender-based violence.

“The statement by the Prime Minister in Istanbul is confirmation that violence against women is an issue the government is serious about tackling.

“Mr Bainimarama rightly pointed out that the onus is never on a woman not to provoke her partner’s temper to avoid domestic violence. Nor should a woman be blamed for her rape because of what she was wearing.”

Mr Bainimarama stated that such thinking “provides men with an excuse to justify the unjustifiable and women to accept the unacceptable.”

Bainimarama’s comments come at a time when two national leaders in the Speaker of Parliament, Dr Jiko Luveni and a senior official of the Methodist Church, Reverend Iliesa Naivalu, have made statements that effectively put the blame on women for provoking their partners’ violence and for arousing men to rape because of how they dress and questioning whether women can “go and drink alcohol with men in the bushes.”

These archaic ideas surrounding violence against women have been shown to be false by global research, including the FWCC’s own major study titled ‘Somebody’s Life, Everybody’s Business’, which puts the spotlight on how prevalent, varied and widespread violence against women is across Fiji.

Last week, when the Speaker of Parliament, Dr Luveni was reported as saying that women should not provoke their husbands into violence, the local mainstream media largely ignored reporting the FWCC’s rebuttal about the dynamics of violence, including the statistics from the national survey, which clearly shows how massive the problem is.

This statement by the Prime Minister vindicates the FWCC’s work and statements about the problem of violence against women over the 32 years of its existence.

Mr Bainimarama’s statement also comes as the FWCC – with UNDP funding – conducts a week-long training workshop, sanctioned by the Commissioner of Police, Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho, for top-ranking police officers from the Western Division on gender, violence against women, human rights and relevant laws.

The workshop held at the Hexagon Hotel in Nadi ends this Friday when the Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum will close the training at 2pm.


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