NATION

Kurusiga: Rights comes with responsibilities

Board adamant that proposed village bylaws protects women and children   Your rights comes with responsibilities, says Apakuki Kurusiga. The iTaukei Affairs Board deputy chief executive officer made the comment
24 Jan 2017 12:00
Kurusiga: Rights comes with responsibilities
Itaukei Affairs Trust Board chief executive officer, Apakuki Kurusiga at the Roko Tui Meeting in Nadave, Tailevu yesterday. Photo: Arieta Vakasukawaqa

Board adamant that proposed village bylaws protects women

and children

 

Your rights comes with responsibilities, says Apakuki Kurusiga.

The iTaukei Affairs Board deputy chief executive officer made the comment during the first meeting yesterday for all Roko Tuis from the 14 provinces at the Centre for Appropriate Training and Development in Nadave, Tailevu.

He was also responding to concerns raised that women’s rights were not protected in the proposed village by-laws.

Mr Kurusiga criticised certain NGOs and women’s rights movement for shooting off their mouths about their rights.

“They should know that their rights come with responsibilities and it is important that they don’t abuse them,” he said.

“Everyone has responsibilities in their societies.”

Echoing similar sentiments the Deputy Secretary for iTaukei Affairs, Saimoni Waibuta, said most of the NGOs saw the propose village by-laws from a wrong perspective.

“The proposed laws are aimed to protect women and children,” Mr Waibuta said.

“Most of these women’s rights movement are speaking as individuals and they should keep in mind that iTaukei people are associated with communal living.

“The proposed village by-laws captures the rights of women and children.”

He said every society had rules that people should abide by.

“Like every woman in an iTaukei setting, they should not wear pants or revealing clothes. That doesn’t mean that their rights are taken away,” he said.

“Even in some cultures and also for the iTaukei women aren’t allowed to wear short pants in front of their brothers. This is respect and it doesn’t mean the rights of women are ignored.”

He said the care and interest of iTaukei women and children were also protected in the village bylaws.

“The laws are also aimed to protect the traditional iTaukei communities and its culture,” Mr Waibuta said.

“Children’s rights are being misinterpreted in iTaukei villages around the country, which led to iTaukei children disrespecting their elders.

“In our society today, when teachers are speaking in class, the children, without asking for permission, they will just walk out of their classrooms.”

He said parents were now scared to discipline their children thinking if they do, they would be taken to court.

“These rights revolve around the right to proper education, right to living a better life and other rights that revolve around that perspective,” he said.

“Parents have the right to discipline their children and this is their responsibility.”

Mr Waibuta said this was one of the challenges faced by the iTaukei Affairs.

He said issues had been brought forward to the ministry for the implementing of corporal punishment in villages because it was viewed to be best way to discipline people.

He believed it was time that laws were implemented in iTaukei villages to maintain order adding that most people living in iTaukei villages had disrespected the laws of that particular village.

The meeting ends on Friday.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj



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