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Education, awareness hold the key: Activist

  Sexual violence is everybody’s business and change can only begin by educating each other and raising awareness, says ex­ecutive director for Fiji Women’s Rights Movement Nalini Singh. She was
10 Mar 2018 11:00
Education, awareness hold the key: Activist
Executive director for Fiji Women's Rights Movement Nalini Singh.

 

Sexual violence is everybody’s business and change can only begin by educating each other and raising awareness, says ex­ecutive director for Fiji Women’s Rights Movement Nalini Singh.

She was speaking during the movement’s International Women’s Day commemorations held at the University of the South Pacific on Thursday night.

The evening took the form of crea­tive art performances.

“Sexual violence is a grave, cruel and severe breach of human rights that leaves long-term psychological and physical damage,’’ Ms Singh said.

“It’s devastating that it is those in positions of trust, perceived to be a loved one or friend who could be the main perpetrators.

“We need to recognise the deeply-entrenched patriarchy in our cul­ture and religion and the system­atic barriers women and girls face that inhibit their full and equal par­ticipation in society.

“Women and girls are assigned gender roles from birth to be moth­ers and fit into domestic roles and could face violence if they step out­side of these roles.

“We need to recognise women and girls as equal contributing mem­bers of society, capable of leader­ship.

“It all begins at home.”

Statistics:

Ms Singh said: “It’s alarming that children make up the majority of the victims/survivors of sexual of­fence cases.

“In the latest February statistic, 14 of the 26 victims of the 48 separate incidents were under the age of 18.

“United Nations Women reported 59 per cent victims/survivors of rape in 2016 were children.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj

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