30 Apr 2002

Outrage in Fiji over assist minister's comments on women

5:04 pm on 30 April 2002

The secretary of the Fiji National Council of Women says it's time to stop blaming women for incidents of abuse and incest by men.

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls says comments by the assistant minister for women, Losena Salabula, that women should stop working overseas because of increases of incest and child abuse, are unfortunate.

Ms Bhagwan Rolls says the blame should be put where it belongs.

"You can't just keep on putting the blame on the women all the time. It's completely disregarding the perpetrators of these crimes, whether it's child abuse or any form of violence against women or children. What you should be doing is making sure that there is clear Government policy in order to assist women and children.."

Ms Bhagwan Rolls also says the assistant minister needs to clarify statements that she's asking the U.S. embassy in Suva to stop issuing visas to women planning to work as caregivers.