NATION

‘Violence Against Women Still Too High’

PM Bainimarama says it’s because basic attitudes haven’t changed Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the incidence of domestic violence, especially violence against women in the country were still far too
15 Oct 2015 10:50
‘Violence Against Women Still Too High’
Left to Right : Rosy Akbar and Voreqe Bainimarama

PM Bainimarama says it’s because basic attitudes haven’t changed
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the incidence of domestic violence, especially violence against women in the country were still far too high.
He said this while opening the second National Women‘s Expo at the Vodafone Arena in Laucala yesterday.
The Prime Minister virtually apologised for this later on in his speech when he said, “Yet I’m sorry to say the incidence of rape is still high because it’s about basic attitudes and those attitudes haven’t changed.”
He said Government now had a National Gender Policy that required women to be treated equally at every level and they had tightened laws or introduced new ones to give Fijian women an unprecedented level of protection, including the first domestic violence laws in Fiji’s history.
“Yet unfortunately while we can change our laws, we can’t change attitudes easily,” he said.
He said the incidence of domestic violence and especially violence against women was now in fact a national crisis.
“And so is the incidence of rape and child abuse in Fiji.”
Mr Bainimarama said he had been told that there was now an average of one rape a day in Fiji filed with the courts. “There are others that don’t proceed to prosecution even if they’re reported.”
He said some rapes were unreported in the first place, and covered up and the perpetrators have avoided justice while the victims suffered in silence.
In his speech he gave his assurance to the women of Fiji that the authorities had zero-tolerance for domestic violence, rape and child abuse.
“It is not acceptable under any circumstances for your husband, partner or any male family member to beat you. It is not acceptable under any circumstances for you or any other women or children around you to be assaulted and abused in a sexual or any other way.”
The Prime Minister said women deserved to be consulted, treated with respect, and protected from violence and exploitation.”
He however said that Fijian women were increasingly asserting their economic strengths and using their talents to earn income for themselves and their families.
“They are gaining a bigger foothold in the workforce and reaching positions of influence and responsibility.”
He said they were using their talents to make items that other people valued, other people wanted and that was what his Government was determined to encourage and facilitate.



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