1 Dec 2008

Solomons Government vowing to fight to eliminate violence against women

6:10 am on 1 December 2008

The Solomon Islands Government is vowing to help in the fight to eliminate violence against women.

The Minister for Women, Youth and Children Affairs says the government is stepping up its effort to protect women.

His announcement comes as figures from an international study present damning figures on the safety of women in Solomon Islands.

Preliminary findings say two out of three women, aged 15 to 49 years, the age group of the surveyed, had been beaten by a husband or boyfriend.

It also says one out of five women has been beaten by someone outside the family.

And one out of ten pregnant women reported being beaten during pregnancy, and 20 percent of those say they had been kicked in the stomach.

The permanent secretary for the Ministry of Women, Youth and Children's affairs, Ethel Sigamanu, says the results of the report are a wake up call.

"It just put the hard truth about behind what has been seen as what many people thought were just women making a lot of noise about an issue that does not really happen and information that was not backed up by hard data."

Ethel Sigamanu also says combating violence against women needs to be tackled on a united front.

Meanwhile, Kiribati's President will take a public stand against domestic violence when he presents the preliminary findings of a similar study on his country this week.