NATION

10 Fijian Women Killed By Intimate Partners In 2019: Minister Vuniwaqa

Ms Vuniwaqa also said Fiji had been listed among countries with the highest rate of offences in the world, where women and girls were subjected to physical or sexual assault.
14 Jan 2020 12:31
10 Fijian Women Killed By Intimate Partners In 2019: Minister Vuniwaqa
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Last year alone, 10 Fijian women were killed by their intimate partners.

And two out of three women (64 per cent) in Fiji are inflicted with violence by their partners.

The grim statistics were revealed by the Minister of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa, during yesterday’s launch of the Fiji National Action Plan to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls.

Ms Vuniwaqa also said Fiji had been listed among countries with the highest rate of offences in the world, where women and girls were subjected to physical or sexual assault.

Ms Vuniwaqa said women and girls experienced violence and abuse at the hands of men they knew- often in their own homes and often repeatedly, sometimes over many years.

“The murder of women and girls, especially in the context of domestic and family violence is often the result of a long history of abuse.”

She said that it is important to recognise and acknowledge that there were not only painful personal stories behind these statistics – but there were attitudes, social norms and cultural complacency.

Ms Vuniwaqa also highlighted that we knowingly or not, give our boys licence to act abusively and it’s up to girls to submit accordingly.

“This is not nature, this is nurture. We dismiss boy’s aggression as a function of their masculinity and we rationalise it,” she said.

“The more we conform to gender stereotypes – masculine: strong, assertive and powerful; and feminine: submissive, pretty and weak, the conditions remain ripe for Fijian men and boys to exert power and control over women and girls,” she added.

She said violence against women and girls was rooted in gender-based discrimination and social norms that perpetuate such violence.

Edited by Percy Kean

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