FIJI NEWS

Women’s bodies want representation

By TALEBULA KATE and RNZI Fiji women’s groups have called for 50 percent of seats on all political structures to be set aside for women. The Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre
13 Oct 2012 11:19

By TALEBULA KATE and RNZI

Fiji women’s groups have called for 50 percent of seats on all political structures to be set aside for women.
The Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre and the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement made the call as part of their formal submissions to the Constitution Commission in Suva yesterday.
The Crisis Centre’s Edwina Kotoisuva says women’s representation for women should be mandatory.
She said outside the commission: “We are advocating that the constitution should look at temporary special measures to enable fifty percent representation of women at all levels. At the moment there isn’t a level playing field.”
Ms Kotoisuva says the women’s groups also want a Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up and the military to withdraw from all government structures.
Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre’s Shamima Ali said: “We believe the issue of immunity for coup perpetrators can only be decided following a truth, reconciliation and justice process.
“We are also proposing a parallel citizens assembly, to support and expand the opinion base of the Constituent Assembly, as we remain concerned on how the official Constituent Assembly will be formed and function.
“We also believe that to create an enabling environment for appropriate access to justice, the role and the independence of the judiciary needs to be addressed.
“We also feel that in order for these processes to proceed in earnest, there is a need for military personnel to withdraw from the structures of Government so that people may participate freely and fairly and without fear in any process which determines the future of our country,” Ms Ali said.
“We take the 1997 Constitution as the foundation from which we make our recommendations on the 13 areas.”
FWCC supports an immediate return to parliamentary democracy and it considers that due to what it called the unconstitutional nature of this Commission, it should restrict itself to making recommendations to amend the 1997 Constitution.
Meanwhile FWRM recommended a provision on duties of citizens be attached to the Bill of Rights and would like to call attention to the responsibilities individuals and communities have for each other and to the State.




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