20 May 2010

Fiji Women's Centre concerned about village law revival plan

3:50 pm on 20 May 2010

The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre coordinator, Shamima Ali, says she believes a return to special village laws will make women and children more vulnerable.

The proposed by-laws, reported in local media, allow controls on dress and impose curfews.

Miss Ali says the rules in place in colonial times also allowed corporal punishment, and says she has met a man who was flogged for committing a rape.

She says the by-laws would also place restrictions on women's behaviour.

"You know that does have, in a society that is already very patriarchal and gender biased and where there is a lot of gender inequality, these kind of by-laws would tend towards increasing the problems that we already have in terms of violence against women, access to justice and women's access to health and things like that."

Shamima Ali from the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre