NATION

Women Soldiers Numbers Growing: Vuniwaqa

  The ratio of the composition of female soldiers in the Republic of Fiji Military Forces has increased dramatically from one to 26 10 years ago to the current one
09 May 2017 13:32
Women Soldiers Numbers Growing: Vuniwaqa
From left: RFMF chief of staff Colonel Ro Jone Kalouniwai, Permanent Secretary for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Dr Josefa Koroivueta and Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa. Photo: Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation

 

The ratio of the composition of female soldiers in the Republic of Fiji Military Forces has increased dramatically from one to 26 10 years ago to the current one to 10.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa made the revelation during the Gender, Violence against Women, and Human Rights workshop at the Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbour yesterday.

She said violence against women was the most extreme form of global and systemic inequality experienced by women and girls.

“It knows no geographic, socio-economic or cultural boundaries,” Ms Vuniwaqa said.

“In more recently received statistics from the Fiji Police Force, in the year 2016, 1904 cases of physical violence and 559 cases of sexual offences against women have been reported.

“We as individuals must do more.

“We must all stand up against abusive behavior.

“We all have a role to play in ending violence against women.”

In quoting a report by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, “Somebody’s Life, Everybody’s Business”, revealed that 72 per cent of Fijian women experience one or more types of violence in their lifetime from their husbands or intimate partners.

RFMF chief of staff Colonel Ro Jone Kalouniwai said RFMF had always been a male dominated institution and the fact now was there was a need for RFMF to start to recognise gender issues and how to deal with them appropriately.

“The commander has put out his intent to the RFMF which is looking at a holistic approach in terms of security,” Colonel Kalouniwai said.

“We have a requirement in terms of peacekeeping operations which is 15 per cent to 30 per cent (composition),” he said.

Currently the RFMF has over 100 female soldiers including officers deployed on peacekeeping operations.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  shahani.mala@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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