NEWS

iTaukei Will Not Lose Birthright: Dr Waqainabete

‘I want to ensure the Marama Na Roko Tui Dreketi, Ro Teimumu Kepa, that her birthright remains. Nothing about this takes away the fact that she is a high chief in her own right’
23 Sep 2021 11:58
iTaukei Will Not Lose Birthright: Dr Waqainabete
Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete. Photo: Parliament of Fiji

The iTaukei will not lose their birth rights, said Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete as he gave his view on the amendments to the Births, Deaths and Marriage Act section 11 and 15 – Bill 33.

The opposition had put forward an argument that the bill would take away the rights of iTaukei and stop them from being registered in the Vola ni Kawa Bula.

Dr Waqainabete said the amendment was important and contemporary.

“There is nothing sinister in this and there is nothing about ethnicity. It is very despicable that the other side of the house brings out the race card. There is nothing about the race card,” he said.

“I want to ensure the Marama Na Roko Tui Dreketi, Ro Teimumu Kepa, that her birthright remains. Nothing about this takes away the fact that she is a high chief in her own right.

“The honourable leader of the opposition is a chief, that will remain. What this does is that it will ensure that a person who has four or five names is aligned to one name.”

Dr Waqainabete pointed out that two of his children had his wife’s surname in their name but that did not affect their birthrights in the VKB or their entitlements.

He added that aligning people to one name would be very crucial to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services as it would help them keep records properly.

He said allowing mothers to be able to register the names of their children empowers women.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in support of the bill said the amendment allowed Fiji to stay true to the ratification done on a global level, especially the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

The bill was passed. Women can now register the names of their children at the registry.

 



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