SPORTS

Stand By Our Women: PM

“It’s time we should get behind our women,” Bainimarama said as he strongly condemned violence against women and children.
01 Mar 2020 13:16
Stand By Our Women: PM
From left: Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s captain Raijeli Daveua and Fijiana XV captain Sereima Leweniqila at the Fiji Rugby Union Awards Night at the Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva on February 29,2020. Daveua was named Fijiana 7s Player of the Year while Leweniqila was the Fijiana XV Player of the Year. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama last night called on all Fijian men to change their perception on women.

Speaking during the Fiji Rugby Union Awards Night at the Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva, Bainimarama said, it’s sad that many men in the country still look down on women.

“It’s time we should get behind our women,” Bainimarama said as he strongly condemned violence against women and children.

The Prime Minister who is also the FRU president praised the recent success of the Fiji Airways Fijian Women 7s and XV teams.

The Fijiana Women’s 7s team qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic Games in July and the Fijiana XV for booking a spot in the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

“I’m proud of the passion and sacrifice players have given to the game.”

Bainimarama mentioned names of our women players like Sereima Leweniqila, Akosita Ravato, Lailane Burnes, Lavenia Tinai and so on.

He said some of these women are mothers and some of them have full-time jobs but yet they are able to find time to attend training.

Bainimarama highlighted that two years ago FRU had introduced women’s rugby 10s in the Skipper Cup Premiership.

Last year they have introduced women’s rugby to the 24 provincial unions with this year they are going to have fifteens rugby.

He said at the end of 2020 all the 24 provincial unions in the country are going to have a women’s team which is 960 Fijian women playing rugby.

“My friends, while we have made great progress in recent years, society can be slow to change –– so too often, Fiji is still not an easy place to be a woman.

“I’m proud of the work we’ve done to build a better, safer and more inclusive society, but that work is nowhere near finished.

“We are still plagued by dangerously high rates of domestic violence and mentalities among men that women are somehow “less” than they are. That’s rubbish, we know that. But too many men still don’t.”

The Prime Minister also praised the achievements of Fiji Airways Fijian 7s halfback Jerry Tuwai who was named the World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year, Fiji Sportsman of the Year and now FRU Sevens Player of the Year.

Bainimarama also applauded the hard work put in by the Bula Force of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces engineers for the work they did in Australia to assist the bushfire victims.

“Either you’re in a military uniform or a Team Fiji jersey they serve as Fiji’s global ambassadors,” he added.

He also took time to pay tribute to former national rugby captain, coach and his long-time friend Esala Teleni who died on Friday night.

Bainimarama said he was stunned of Teleni’s passing away as he has done a lot for the country in rugby and diplomacy.

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj


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