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Amrit Ready to Face Backlash in Man Up Role

Amrit Ready to Face Backlash in Man Up Role
Minister for Women,Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa and media personality Ajay Amrit during the launch of the “Man Up Fiji” campaign promoting male advocacy for the elimination of violence against women and children on October 4, 2017. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau
October 05
18:41 2017

Media personality and writer Ajay Amrit says he is prepared for a backlash in his new role as Goodwill Ambassador for Man Up Fiji Campaign.

The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa yesterday launched the campaign at the Fiji Museum, Suva to highlight gender violence, particulary against women and even children.

Mr Amrit said he spoke to various men about his new role. The role is in addition to his Homes for Hope advocacy.

“Surprisingly, they (men) weren’t very supportive and felt it was a poor man’s problem… or not their problem at all,” he said.

“I am prepared for some negativity and backlash for this role. But because the issue is so rampant and the perpetrators are so widespread, we have to start somewhere as they exist in all social structures of our society.

“What I have learned is that this is not a poor man’s problem, it is not a rich man’s problem, it is not a political problem, it is not a problem for race, it is a problem in society.

“Surprisingly she said the campaign was initiated by the private sector and in particular Mr Amrit in conjunction with some of Fiji’s big names in the business sector.

“The campaign is aptly named `Man Up’ Campaign and aimed to encourage the involvement of men in the fight against gender-based violence,” she said.

The launch was followed by the unveiling of billboards with the similar theme in Suva and Nadi this week.

These activities Ms Vuniwaqa said would culminate in a march this Saturday which would be officiated by the President of Fiji.

The march she said would draw on advocates against gender-based violence particularly from the private sector – targeting male heads of companies and their employees to join the national effort to eradicate violence from their homes. A concert in the northern division she said was also being planned in aid of this worthy cause.

Mr Amrit said his journey in becoming a male advocate for the eradication of sexual violence, domestic violence and abuse against women and children began with Lynn Roche – Director of Homes of Hope,

According to Mr Amrit, Ms Roche was actively looking for a male advocate to support Homes of Hope and felt he could fill the role and that he met the criteria that were laid out.

But more importantly he said the reasoning behind having a male advocate was the fact the males perpetrating these horrendous crimes did not and would not respect women so it was imperative for a man to step up.

He said he was prepared for some negativity and backlash for his role.

Mr Amrit said this was a problem in society.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

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