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Feminist Queries MP’s Women Talk

Feminist Queries MP’s Women Talk
Feminist and rights activist Shamima Ali
July 18
11:00 2017

Feminist and rights activist Shamima Ali has questioned a politician’s statement linking women to electricity.

Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre coordinator Ms Ali said this showed the patriarchal way of thinking in Parliament.

She was commenting on a statement by National Federation Party’s member of Parliament, Parmod Chand.

Mr Chand told Parliament last week that men in certain rural areas without electricity were single because “women do not want to marry them and wash clothes with hands instead of washing machines.

“There is a serious social problem, young women do not want to marry men who live in the villages because they say we don’t want to wash clothes with the hands, it’s outdated now.

“A lot of people do not have power and leave but once the power is there people will go there because life becomes very, very easy nowadays. Even women do not want to cook rice in the pot, they want the rice cooker so it’s important.”

Mr Chand  was speaking on his motion, seconded by SODELPA MP Viliame Gavoka, seeking an increase in the rural electrification budgetary allocation. The motion was defeated.

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum interjected and called out the two members for their comments.

The members, he said, needed to be gender-sensitised. He went on to highlight the rural electrification plan which was released as part of the Budget Kit last Monday.

He also questioned why individual Opposition Members were only worried about lighting up the areas where they came from, adding that FijiFirst Government’s plan for rural electrification was need-based and not focussed on areas where individual members of Government came from.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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