Women

PM: “No excuse for violence against women”

The Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said there was no excuse for violence against women and men who do so were “cowards and criminals”. The Prime Minister spoke at a World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) forum on Women and Girls earlier today. BAINIMARAMA: “Fiji – like many other societies – is patriarchal with a range of institutional […]

Calvin Prasad

May 25, 2016 11:07 am

The Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said there was no excuse for violence against women and men who do so were “cowards and criminals”.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the World Hummantarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, earlier this week. (WHS).
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, earlier this week. (WHS).

The Prime Minister spoke at a World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) forum on Women and Girls earlier today.

BAINIMARAMA: “Fiji – like many other societies – is patriarchal with a range of institutional and cultural barriers to gender equality. And I am sad to report that we all still have a terrible problem with male attitudes to women.”

PM Bainiamara said Fiji has an unacceptable level of rape and child abuse, and many men regard women as subservient and as possessions for their sexual gratification.

BAINIMARAMA: “Far too many men routinely resort to violence in a domestic setting. And we are currently in the throes of a national debate about whether women are in any way to blame for this, by provoking their men into acts of violence or inviting rape by wearing provocative clothing.”

The Prime Minister’s statement was warmly praised by the Chair of the Summit session, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson.

ELIASSON: “Thank you very much, Prime Minister. It’s reassuring to hear a head of government taking such a principled and firm stand on violence against women and children in a domestic environment. It was absolutely wonderful to hear that from you. The applause that interrupted you is a sign of appreciation,”

According to Bainimarama, he did not accept the argument that the onus was on a woman to not provoke her partner’s temper.

BAINIMARAMA: “There is no justification, no excuse, for any man to inflict violence on a woman or abuse her in any way. Those who do so are cowards and criminals.  And that if she does so, that somehow justifies or excuses the treatment that is meted out to her.”

PM Bainimarama said it was “a way of thinking” that provided men with a pretext to “justify the unjustifiable and women to accept the unacceptable”.

BAINIMARAMA: “It is a way of thinking that is totally out of kilter with the norms of any society with pretensions to decency. And it is a way of thinking that perpetuates a cycle of violence and must be eradicated with the full force of the law. Zero tolerance for those who abuse women and girls.”

The Prime Minister said his government was committed to gender equality at every level which was reflected in the commitments he was making at the WHS.

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