16 Oct 2009

Fasting last resort for head of Tongan women and families group

4:20 pm on 16 October 2009

The president of Tonga's For Women and Families group says her part in a protest involving prayer and fasting is the final resort in a 15 year struggle for women's rights.

The comment follows the presentation to the King of a petition calling for the removal from office of the Prime Minister and his deputy.

Ma'a Fafine Moe Famili's Betty Blake says she's committed to fasting from six in the morning until six at night until new leaders are in place.

She says the government's using its policies and authority for its own benefit.

"We see that they don't really consider the status of our people. That's why we are fasting. That's why we are crying to God. Because we know that there are a lot of things we've done in this country but it's almost like it lands on deaf ears on the people in policy and people in decision-making. So we thought this is the last thing we can do, is to fast and pray."

Betty Blake is urging the leaders of overseas governments and the international women's community to petition the Tongan government for change.